Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Winging its way to an Academy Award

Winging its way to an Academy Award

HOLLYWOOD loves tales of heroism and it would be safe to bet that Sully will scoop one of the major gongs at next year’s Oscars.

It was only a matter of time before the remarkable story of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger was bought to the big screen, and this really does feel like the first of this season’s contenders for an Academy Award.

This implies perhaps just the one, but a quick glance at the acting and directing pedigree of the film, combined with the compelling subject matter, is enough to give you the sense that it could clear up come February.

On January 15, 2009, the world witnessed the “Miracle on the Hudson” when Captain Sullenberger glided his disabled plane down on to the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 people aboard.

However, even as he was being heralded by the public and the media for his unprecedented feat of aviation skill, an investigation was unfolding that threatened to destroy his reputation and his career.

The sight of the US Airways plane bobbing on the surface of the Hudson, surrounded by New York skyscrapers, has been seared on to the memories of all of those who witnessed it.

Such a striking story needs a director capable of handling it and doing it justice — and there can’t be many better than Clint Eastwood.

Forget the acting, his 45-year directing career alone is enough to put him alongside the greats.

Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, Invictus and American Sniper are all admired as great pieces of modern American cinema. Importantly though, with the latter two films, Eastwood has experience of delivering engaging character studies and biopics — along with the lesser-known J Edgar of 2011.

With Sully, the prospect of Tom Hanks taking the role of the unassuming Captain Sullenberger will make this a match made in heaven and it’s only a matter of time before the millions roll in, along with the awards.

Hanks is supported here by Aaron Eckhart as Sully’s
co-pilot, Jeff Skiles and Oscar nominee Laura Linney as Sully’s wife Lorrie Sullenberger.

The film is showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse from today (Friday).

David White

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