Sully was one of last year’s best films (and in a weaker year would have received a lot more awards attention). Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks teamed to bring one of the most astounding true life stories in recent memory to life by doing a very un-Hollywood thing: they didn’t glamorize it. If you watch the documentaries and compare it to the film, there’s only embellishment to make it believable. Sully was actually CALMER than Hanks, who only amped it up a slight notch. The crash scene is meticulously recreated. Eastwood knew he didn’t have to give the story any more glitz, because “The Miracle on the Hudson” was already a miracle. It didn’t need a pounding score or extra complications.
My favorite scene is where you really understand how extraordinary Sully’s quick decision-making and piloting skills are: during the NTSB hearing when he challenged results showing he could have done anything other than what he did. We all know the range of Hanks. He can literally do anything onscreen, but it takes a seasoned actor to mimic the restraint of the real hero and let that power carry the scene. As a bonus, if you missed Hanks reprising his role on Sully on Saturday Night Live , I’m including that as well because 1) it’s hilarious and 2) it shows the massive Hanksian range I just mentioned when compared to the film.