Hanks, Eckhart take flight as real-life heroes in 'Sully'

Hanks, Eckhart take flight as real-life heroes in 'Sully'

Hanks, Eckhart take flight as real-life heroes in 'Sully'

Sully. "I had no idea the concept of the PTSD, of the pressure that this man felt", Hanks told Couric.

"Sully", directed by Clint Eastwood and out in theaters on Friday, follows the immediate aftermath of the extraordinary events on January 15, 2009 that saw Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger land the plane on the Hudson after the Airbus A320-214's two engines were destroyed by a flock of birds. The inquiry into Sullenberger's decision to make the emergency landing on the Hudson makes him personally question his judgment. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, actually living in Danville, was a plain-spoken, rulebook-following everyman, seemingly sent from the heavens to give us all a day filled with hope and grace and happy Gotham tabloid headlines. There are laughs to be had in "Sully", especially in the banter between Sullenberger and first officer Jeff Skiles, played with bristling, barely contained energy by Aaron Eckhart.

"Until I read the script, I didn't know the investigative board was trying to paint the picture that he (Sullenberger) had done the wrong thing". But it was the effect it had on NY at a bad time for NY.

Relying on his extensive experience in camera work and long-standing working relationship with the Oscar-winning director, the cinematographer effortlessly captured the trajectory and stunning nature of Hanks and Eckharts' alluring performances.

Directed by Clint Eastwood, "Sully" is the story of Chesley Sullenberger, the pilot who became a hero after gliding his plane along the water in the Hudson River, saving all of the airplane flights 155 crew and passengers.

Sully IMAX VIP Media Screening
Hanks, Eckhart take flight as real-life heroes in 'Sully'

But, more than that, as played by Hanks and described by Todd Komarnicki's script, Sullenberger sounds an very bad lot like Eastwood himself: a maverick who goes his own way.

However, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) fails to acknowledge Sullenberger's unprecedented feat of aviation skill after he had to make quick decisions when he unexpectedly flew into a flock of birds.

And while the treatment of the pilots will appear harsh to audience members - in stark contrast to the media adulation they received in the days and months after the landing - Eckhart said it's the NTSB's job to scrutinize, and the pilots, as well as he and Hanks, accept and respect the process as an absolute necessity. "In the hearing, you find out that they could lose their commercial licenses, lose their pensions and lose their reputations. It's the drama. People think they know what they're going to go see, but I think they are going to be pleasantly surprised that they're going to see so much more".

Sully is at its best when it's in full dramatic reenactment mode, and at its most eye-rolling when it shifts to emotional handwringing. "I'm thinking of running over the press with a vehicle", she says, as news vans surround her house, viewed from camera angles that make them appear ready to attack.

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