I haven’t seen many of Clint Eastwood’s directed films, but I really like Sully. It’s not perfect, but there are some great performances. The story feels as impactful and powerful as one would expect given the gravity of the event. I was frustrated at the people questioning Sully. I give Sully the Not Quite Golden, Ponyboy rating.
Chelsey Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) is recognized as a hero after successfully landing a plane on the Hudson River. The aftermath is a barrage of news reporters and interviews about his decisions leading to the emergency landing.
The highlights of the film were definitely Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart as co-pilot Jeff Skiles. I’m finding that I really enjoy Eckhart in roles where he can have some charisma and humor. He reflected my feelings towards Sully and his heroism. Their time on screen and in the cockpit is powerful. Hanks does what he does best and plays a humble hero who you want to root for even if he isn’t sure of himself.
Jamey Sheridan, Mike O’Malley, and Anna Gunn play the board who is investigating Sully’s decision. They are harsh and clearly rely on the statistics and dollar signs way too much. They seem a little too harsh and accusatory at times, but play perfectly to build the tension. Hanks and Eckhart are both great in these moments really making me root for them all the more. Their jobs and livelihood are at stake and I wanted them to be okay.
My issues with the film (possible spoilers)
Where the writing felt a little clunky was the relationship between Sully and his wife (Laura Linney). Each moment is a phone call, a device a bit overused, and we learn a lot of Sully’s situation. There are enough allusions to initially think that Sully may have been too distracted, but then that’s completely dropped.
Yet, we learn that he has financial troubles and can’t afford to lose his job. Then again, that seems like unnecessary exposition as it’s fairly obvious that most people need their job. The story is really one that could be told in 45 minutes, but the plot structure of the film makes it a comfortable 91 minutes. The crash is depicted from a few different perspectives and each of them is equally interesting.
Final thoughts on Sully
The movie isn’t perfect by definitely a solid story with great performances. I wouldn’t be surprised if Hanks gets the Oscar nod again, but that’s not really due to this film. He brings his persona and it’s consistently powerful to me. The true story of Sully and what happened in the aftermath of his heroic landing is compelling.