What is the story that takes place after the most famous plane water landing of all time – the Miracle on the Hudson?
That is the tale that director Clint Eastwood brings us with the film Sully.
Based on the true story of Captain Chelsea Sullenberger the pilot on flight UA1549 which, on the January 15th 2009 landed on the Hudson river in New York City. The flight saw both engines fail after damage by birds, and Captain Sullenberger required to make the decision to attempt the water landing rather than returning to La Guardia airport.
This is a remarkable film that defies the instinct to make a film that builds up to the dramatic landing. Instead the story begins with the landing and seeks to tell the story of the aftermath with Sullenberger’s new found popularity worldwide, juxtaposed with the detailed investigation into whether his decisions were the right ones.
Playing Sullenberger is Tom Hanks who is perfectly cast as the humble pilot yet with compelling leadership throughout the film. His co-pilot Jeffrey Skiles is played by Aaron Eckhart. Additionally there are supporting roles from Laura Linney as Sullnenberger’s wife Lorraine and Anna Gunn as one of the investigation team.
It is an incredibly engaging film that leaves you with admiration for the man and frustration at the investigatory process which, whilst understandable, feels more like a witch hunt than a balanced process of fact finding.
It is thoroughly worthy of viewing. At the helm, Eastwood too delivers a very safe landing. (Too much?)