“SULLY” is the new movie about Chelsey Sullenberger, the pilot who saved the lives of 155 people when he landed his disabled jet in the Hudson River.
SULLY earned over 35 and a half million dollars during its opening weekend.
And it’s easy to see why the movie is so popular. The great Tom Hanks plays Sully and the reliable Clint Eastwood directs this strong, stirring movie about the amazing forced water landing that came to be known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.” The movie is heart warming but not sentimental. It never pushes too hard or overstates its case. And it has Oscar nominations written all over it.
The movie begins with a vision Sully has in the aftermath of the forced landing. He and his co-pilot both experience symptoms of post traumatic stress in the days following what could have been a terrible disaster.
Sully: It’s a funny thing. I’ve delivered a million passengers over 40 years in the air but in the end I’m going to be judge on 208 seconds.
The movie reveals that the National Transportation Safety Board blamed Sully for not returning to the airport after a flock of geese flew into both his plane’s engines.
Investigator: Why didn’t you attempt to return to La Guardia?
Sully: There simply was not enough altitude…..I realized I couldn’t make it back.
Investigator: Let’s get into how you calculated all those perimeters.
Sully: There was no time for calculating.
Tom Hanks perfectly captures the modest Sully who doesn’t think of himself as a hero but as someone who relied on his training and experience.
Sully: Mayday! Mayday! This is flight 1549; we’ve lost thrust on both engines and we are turning back to La Guardia.
Controller: I have an emergency; he lost both engines, returning immediately….What do you need to land?
Electronic voice: Too low, terrain, too low,terrain.
Sully: This is the captain. Brace for impact.
(Later during the NTSB hearing):
Investigator: You stated that it was a duel engine failure due to multiple bird strikes. That would be unprecedented.
Sully: Well, everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time.
As unbelievable as it seems, the NTSB accuses Sully of endangering the 155 people whose lives he was desperate to protect.
He tells his wife what could happen.
Sully: Worse case scenario. The NTSB lists me as the probable cause. That’s immediate retirement with no pension. My life’s work gone.
Even though nearly everyone knows that Sully was ultimately vindicated—this movie will touch the emotions of almost anyone who sees it.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now. firstname.lastname@example.org