The Untold Story Behind the Miracle on the Hudson
On a cold winter morning in 2009 on January 15th, a passenger plane lost both engines at a lower altitude than any other aircraft in history after hitting a flock of geese just after takeoff. Captain Sullenberger and First Officer Skiles had to make a quick decision, either divert the plane back to a nearby runway and risk not making it or try the unimaginable. With time running out, they decided to land US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River; miraculously saving all 155 souls on-board. “Sully”, directed by Clint Eastwood, not only tells the tale of the fateful day, but goes beyond it. The days that followed absolutely plagued Sully, from the countless interviews to the NTSB’s insistence that only one of the engines actually lost power. The rest of the film uncovers this incredible untold story, not just the water landing, but the unbelievable proceedings that followed as well.
Tom Hanks stars as the world-renown Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. Hanks plays him with such disdain and reverence, honor and humbleness; it’s like watching the events play-out right in front of us. Aaron Eckhart plays First Officer Jeff Skiles, mustache and all! Laura Linney has a few scenes as Sully’s wife, Lorraine Sullenberger. Charles Porter, Ben Edwards, and Elizabeth Davis (NTSB Investigators) are played by Mike O’Malley, James Sheridan, and Anna Gunn. Holt McCallany plays a member of the pilot’s commission, Mike Cleary. Jerry Ferrara plays a NYPD scuba diver, Michael Delaney. Katie Couric and Captain Vince Lombardi have cameos as themselves as well.
“Sully” is certainly very entertaining and interesting, but Hanks absolutely steals the show and we’re all left thankful for it! As I said before, Tom Hanks absolutely steals the show as Captain Sullenberger. His charisma and charm take a back-seat to Sully’s actual personality, leaving the film to feel more biographical than non-fiction. Eckhart and Linney also shine brightly when given their moments. “Sully” also chooses an interesting way to tell its story, flashing back-and-forth. This can often become confusing and misleading and may have benefited from a more straight-forward approach to its storytelling. Another thing I loved about “Sully” was how nicely it painted the great city of New York. At the time of this incident, they were only 7 years-recovered from the horrendous acts on 9/ll. “Sully” shows how-well the city’s first responders and citizens reacted and came-together to help US Airways Flight 1549; from the ferry crews to the FDNY and NYPD, it was truly a bright day that New York City dearly needed and “Sully” portrays the events beautifully. As we’ve come to expect from Mr. Eastwood, “Sully” isn’t just there to tell us a story we already know. The film does go-through the crash and the events leading-up to it, but the more intriguing and captivating moments are the ones that followed. I won’t spoil them for you, but there are many details that I had never heard about or honestly even thought about. “Sully” has a runtime of 96 minutes and hardly drags, but its second half moves-along much more smoothly than its first. “Sully” succeeds mostly due to Hanks’ world-class impersonation, but there is enough entertainment and uncovered-fact to make an overall solid film. And be sure to stay during the credits for a heartwarming sequence!
“Sully” portrays the events of US Airways Flight 1549 and its miraculous landing on the Hudson River. The film features an incredible life-like portrayal by Tom Hanks and a new side to the famous water landing as well. If you are heading to the movies this weekend, go see “Sully”!!
SULLY is rated PG-13 for some peril and brief strong language, in theaters SEPTEMBER 9TH!