Clint Eastwood & Tom Hanks’ New Biographical Drama, Sully, Makes A Big Splash
By Naomi Brady, 12th grade
You might not have heard much about Clint Eastwood’s’ new movie Sully yet (there just isn’t as much hype about non-fiction biographical films when large-scale Blockbusters like Suicide Squad and Ghostbusters are out), but it’s not because it isn’t good. In fact, the recently released drama-biography starring Tom Hanks as Captain Chesley (“Sully”) Sullenberger (the nationally appraised pilot who successfully landed a passenger flight in the Hudson River with no casualties, in 2009, after experiencing complete engine failure) has received remarkably good ratings. Film critic Paul Asay called it, “A deeply humanistic movie in the best possible way,” (Plugged In), and the movie received a 82% rating from the popular movie review website Rotten Tomatoes.
Many have commented on the film’s subdued nature, drawing out the exact details of the storyline’s dramatic premise in flashbacks and dialogue, as its greatest strength in standing apart as a quality biography. The main character’s discreet heroism, as brilliantly conveyed by Hollywood veteran Tom Hanks, is also one of the movie’s great assets. Hanks’ humble portrayal of protagonist Captain Sullenberger makes it easy to believe in Sully’s innocence in the case made against him by the Transportation Safety Board (that he took an unnecessary risk in landing the plane in the Hudson, and that there were enough resources and time to safely land in nearby airports), and sets Sully apart from modern-day heros, in that he is depicted not as an unattainably courageous and unrealistically talented warrior, but instead as an honest, hardworking grandfather-esque figure who succeeds simply by trusting his gut and doing his job the best way he knows how.
Equally significant is the movie’s choice in highlighting such a positive, and non-tragic event in a time where it seems as if all biographical or historical films must have calamitous endings. Overall the movie is a nail-biting, heartening, solid drama that succeeds in its responsibility of sharing the very true stories of Captain Sully and the 155 passengers and crew who survived Flight 1549’s miraculous landing.