Here's another example of why we can't have nice things.
"Sully" is a terrific movie by director Clint Eastwood. For those on another planet the past decade, it details the real life event of the airline pilot who, after hitting some birds on take-off from Laguardia Airport, was forced to land a plane with 155 on board in the middle of the icy Hudson River. The film is based on the memoir from Captain Chesley Sullenberger and, at the time, he was lauded as a true hero. And rightfully so.
Would you believe that there are some folks who ripped into "Sully?"
Okay, we live in a day where probably 90% of the fare from Hollywood comes with the preamble...."based on a true story." Or..."inspired by real events." The latter is the cop-out and allows film makers to fudge on the facts. I mean, think back to the mess of a few years back. "Lee Daniels' The Butler." That film was a total fabrication of one single fact. Yet, people left the theater thinking it was all real because it was...well...inspired by real events.
So, in "Sully," there were some liberties taken for the purpose of dramatic tension. The real pilot tells you in his book that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) did try to pin the crash on his own error. Yes, that's a fact. In the movie, the organization is made out to be real villains and detractors went nuts attacking Eastwood and company for taking such poetic license.
Oh, for God's sake...
Naturally, you do wonder if the gripers are taking issue on behalf of the NTSB or because the director is a well-known conservative. Whatever the case, the charges thrown at "Sully" are unwarranted because the movie is well made. Running a tight 90 or so minutes, Eastwood proves again that he is a master storyteller. Of course, in this case, he's got a terrific one to tell. You really feel that you are on that plane as you relive the events of this landing not one, but twice. I'm sure the movie is full of CGI but, for once, it's believable. You really think you're out there on the wing of a plane in the middle of the Hudson River.
Eastwood also succeeds in finally giving us a performance from Tom Hanks that is not pretentious and hammy. Naturally, Hanks is playing a real person who is still alive. There was no room for him to do his usual "aw shucks, life is like a box of chocolates" nonsense.
At the heart of it all is the real pilot himself who appears with the rest of the passenger and crew over the closing credits. He's the true hero of it all. A man who did his job and did it masterfully. And even the staunchest of critics can't take that away from him or us.
LEN'S RATING: Four stars.
Dinner last night: Hamburger and salad.