Daniel here. When news broke that Tom Hanks was cast as airline captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger – the real-life angel with jet wings who, in 2009, famously piloted an A320 to an emergency water landing on the Hudson River, saving the lives of all crew and passengers in the process – approximately no one was surprised. If you ever need to cast an IRL hero for the big screen, Hanks’ evergreen likeability automatically makes him the safest choice; personally, as much as I really, really, really, really, really, really like Hanks, I’d have loved to see William Hurt take the controls. Regardless, we now have our first trailer for Clint Eastwood’s Sully and down to its Oscar-nominated, underutilized actress propped as a wallpaper wife, it’s about what you've come to expect from a ripped-from-the-headlines biopic these days. To some, it seems the surest route to stoic is stale.
In lieu of our traditional Yes No Maybe So, a whole bunch of Maybe concerns...
- How it will stretch two hours’ worth of drama from a single incident that in actuality didn’t last that long? How will it craft a compelling character arc for a figure of such broad-stroked, well, likeability. No points for originality, as it seems to take Flight’s plan of cross-examining his methodology and, briefly, toxicology. That said, its shards of PTSD and demythologizing its hero archetype through personal doubt look promising.
- While J. Edgar was a dud in the American History Eastwood department, some (including the Academy) found American Sniper’s mode of pointed patriotism to be persuasive. This could go either way.
- Eastwood’s scummy blue scrim has deservedly taken a lot of flack over the years and, for a few shots in the trailer anyway, cinematographer Tom Stern has opened a critical window for some light to make its way into the frame.
- As mentioned, The Lovely Laura Linney seems totally wasted here, issuing words of support to her husband and little else. As if that’s not bad enough, they gave her a hale bay wig to go with it. The Film Experience couldn’t be more thrilled with the movies’ recent showcases for senior actresses – Blythe Danner, Susan Sarandon, Sally Field, to name a few – but how about giving our middle-aged actresses some vehicles as well?
A firm “I hope to God I’m surprised” on this. Does it look like Eastwood's latest will take flight?