For the full Movie Bears Podcast review of ‘Sully,’ check out the video below. Keep reading for our mini-review!
It’s nearing the Oscar prestige season – that special time of year when Academy Award-hopeful films start releasing – and that means it’s time for another meaty Tom Hanks film. Coming on the heels of ‘Captain Phillips’ and ‘Bridge of Spies,’ the Clint Eastwood-directed ‘Sully’ puts Hanks front and center yet again – whether he’ll get an Oscar nod this year, however, is up in the air. But let’s back up a second or two…
‘Sully’ tells the “inspired by real events” tale of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, a pilot who safely lands his plane in the Hudson River after a disastrous bird strike takes out both engines. The famous forced water landing of US Airways flight 1549 happened in 2009, with all souls onboard safely seen back to shore. That’s not a spoiler: it’s history, and it’s in the trailer. But ‘Sully’ does more than just feed us the historical details: through Hanks’ outstandingly nuanced performance, the film grounds us in Sully’s doubts about being the hero everyone says he is.
With an official inquiry by the National Transportation Safety Board looming, Sully is plagued with anxieties around the choice he made to force a water landing rather than make for an airport runway. After all, such landings nearly always result in tragedy: many passengers could have been lost. And so ‘Sully’ takes us on a self-tortured ride through the procedural hearings, with occasional flashbacks to the incident that started it all.
On paper, that might sound like a boring premise for a movie. But Eastwood and his carefully chosen cast execute the story well, with performances from Aaron Eckhart (Harvey Dent, ‘The Dark Knight Rises’) and Anna Gunn (Skyler White, ‘Breaking Bad’) also coming in very strong. It’s wonderful to see Anna Gunn here and we definitely hope it leads to more films for her in the future. Mike O’Malley, meanwhile, plays the film’s semi-antagonist and while his performance is fine, it doesn’t quite carry the gravitas you’d expect for someone leading the charge to discredit Captain Sully. Even so, the movie delivers quite well and is worth a watch.
‘Sully’ is sure to be in the discussion come Oscar season so – while we’re in a bit of a good movie lull right now – do yourself a favor and check it out.
Written by Brad Harris, Movie Bears Podcast