Look for “Sully” and Tom Hanks to make almost everyone’s 2016 Best Picture and Best Actor lists. And don’t discount Eastwood for a Best Director nomination. If this movie takes off at the box office in 4 weeks, it could find itself on short final for many end-of-the-year awards.
Patrick King, REEL BRIEF
Brace for impact because this one looks very good!
As pilots, we fly in an environment of peers that prides itself on self-reflection and a “There I was…” storytelling mantra. We attempt to learn from others’ mistakes so that we can avoid the same, potentially deadly, fate. A vast majority of the time, these “lessons learned” are imparted upon us aviators via safety board reports and accident investigations.
“Sully”, under Clint Eastwood’s visionary touch, appears to bring viewers from behind the flight deck door and into the lives of pilots–inside the cockpit and even outside the terminal area. Perhaps, in an approach similar to how Eastwood made “American Sniper” less about the kill shots and more about Chris Kyle the husband and father, “Sully” will shake out into the decision-making, initial second-guessing and the collection of facts from the accident investigation, rather than just capture what we already know from the news media on that eventful day. We’ll see.
But from what I can tell in the trailer, “Sully” looks to be a major water-cooler topic of discussion for passengers, as well as, aircrew, air traffic control and pilots alike.
Common airline travelers and moviegoers will see Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s actions with an eye towards a miraculous water landing in Manhattan’s Hudson River. For pilots, we’ll focus on so much more; the split-second decisions that needed to be made in successive, rapid-fire fashion. Decisions that kept possibilities and opportunities available as options for an aircrew that was losing precious altitude and time with every second. As aviators, we saw an immediate transfer of aircraft control from the copilot to Captain “Sully”–who was sitting in the left seat and is now at the airplane’s controls…flying while talking to Air Traffic Controllers as his copilot and the passengers brace for impact.
When it comes to aircraft emergencies, there are moments when it’s acceptable to have the more junior pilot (copilot) fly the aircraft while the older head(s) on the flight deck decide what appropriate actions must be taken to handle an in-flight malfunction or problem.
At other times, when the circumstances are the most dire and time constraining, it’s the senior pilot–The Captain–who must fly the aircraft and exhibit their A-game skills (formulated over thousands of flying hours and years of experience) to allow for the best odds of survival.
Pilots following this true story about the “Miracle on the Hudson” know that the copilot was performing checklist items and backing up Sully from the right seat the entire time. As this trailer indicates, the entire crew–a team really–perform and interact like a well-oiled machine. A direct result of a profession that prides itself on preparation for all possibilities, always attempting to make the unexpected emergency more expected through rote checklist procedures, in-depth systems knowledge and continued simulator training.
It seems like every time Tom Hanks portrays a Captain on-screen bad things happen to him. And this. Or taking this guy down also. Lots of Oscar chatter for this powerhouse film. Look for “Sully” and Tom Hanks to make almost everyone’s 2016 Best Picture and Best Actor lists. And don’t discount Eastwood for a Best Director nomination. If this movie takes off at the box office in 4 weeks, it could find itself on short final for many end-of-the-year awards.
From an actual Cactus 1549 passenger statement to the National Transportation Safety Board:
“Sully” hits theaters on September 9th.
© 2016, Patrick. All rights reserved.
"Patrick, you are my go-to guy when it comes to the box office". - Judy O.