By Liz Lopez
As soon as I learned that Tom Hanks was to portray Capt. Chesley Sullenberger in Sully, a Malpaso production directed by Clint Eastwood (who also is a producer), there was no doubt in my mind that this was going to be a well told story of Sullenberger’s actions as he landed US Airways Flight 1549 on New York’s Hudson River a few years ago. The screenwriter, Todd Komarnicki, based the script on the pilot’s book, Highest Duty, and viewers who have not read the source material will learn the full story of what transpired for months after when the National Transportation Safety Board investigators grill him and his co – pilot, Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) about the actions they took. Sullenberger and Skiles saved the lives of all the airline passengers that day, and potentially many more in New York, if he had made other decisions that fateful day that a flock of birds destroy the engines. I highly recommend the film.
Instead of telling a straightforward account of what has already been seen in the news since the landing, the story is takes the viewer from the Hudson River, to office and legal settings, back to the commercial airliner, the passengers, the rescue, as well as the “nightmares” or visions of an airline disaster that haunt Sullenberger as he has to recount and review the decisions he made to land on the Hudson, despite having over four decades of experience.
Sullenberger is a family man, married to Lorrie (Laura Linney) and they have daughters. Despite the distance from them when his lodging is a hotel during the proceedings, his wife provided as much support as possible over the telephone and dealt with the media frenzy parked outside the house.
I can’t imagine another actor that would have portrayed this airline pilot as well as Tom Hanks and there are great scenes at the end of the film where the real life Sullenberger, his wife and the passengers are reunited. The confidence, humbleness and kind human that we learn about in the film is actually who this gentleman is and who did not accept the title of “hero,” always giving credit to all who participated in saving lives.
This engaging film may or may not win industry awards, but it certainly will appeal to viewers who want a positive lift and a reminder of the talent this country has.
The film runs 96 minutes and has a PG-13 MPAA Rating. It will also open on Sept. 9th and will also be available on IMAX screens.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures