Sully is a film about what is known as ‘the miracle on the Hudson’. I was asked by a flying buff how could a film be made about a 208 second flight that ended up with the plane landing on the Hudson river, after all we had all seen the video of this many times on TV. Even today we can watch a 48-minute video of the ditching of the plane and subsequent rescue of passengers and crew on ‘youtube’.
Having seen the film, it is really the untold story about US Airways flight 1549 that ended up landing on the ice cold Hudson river on 15 January 2009, a winters day and the aftermath.
The film does reconstruct the flight from takeoff from LaGuardia Airport to ditching on the river well, including moments of passenger horror and individual emotions and reactions. The portrayal of the subsequent investigations is certainly realistic and believable.
However, I must point out that the film is not likely to appeal to nervous fliers, particularly if they have planned a flight in the near future.
On the other hand, if you accept that overall flying today is safe then the best thing to do is to sit back and enjoy the 96-minute film.
While worldwide the pilot Captain Chesley Sullenberger (Sully) was hailed as a hero who saved 155 people, there were many aviation people who believed that the A320 aircraft could have and should have been brought back to LaGuardia Airport. They believed Sully’s action had resulted in the unnecessary loss of an expensive aircraft.
The film is based on the tell all book ‘Highest Duty’ written by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow. It was directed by Clint Eastwood who recently directed American Sniper, Jersey Boys and J.Edgar. Clint is also a well-known Oscar winning actor.
Tom Hanks, another Oscar winning actor with many excellent performances under his belt, gives a competent performance as Sully as does Aaron Eckhart who plays the part of the co-pilot Jeff Skiles while Laura Linney plays Sully’s wife.
It is not the type of film that requires Oscar winning acting performances but certainly the main actors played their parts well. The film does lag slightly in the middle but picks up and it has a strong ending.
Overall Sully is a film that is well worth seeing that deserves three stars.