On a wing and a prayer

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -


Di­rec­tor: Clint East­wood (Gran Torino) Star­ring: Tom Hanks, Aaron Eck­hart, Va­lerie Ma­haf­fey, Laura Lin­ney Ver­dict: In a show of strength, he went to wa­ter

THE lat­est film di­rected by the great Clint East­wood re­lives one of the great mo­ments in avi­a­tion his­tory.

If not for the quick think­ing of veteran Amer­i­can pi­lot Cap­tain Ch­es­ley ‘Sully’ Sul­len­berger, it would def­i­nitely have been one of the worst mo­ments.

The in­ci­dent in ques­tion has come to be known as ‘The Mir­a­cle on the Hud­son’. On Jan­uary 15, 2009, US Air­ways Flight 1549 com­pleted a reg­u­la­tion take­off from New York’s LaGuardia Air­port.

Just six min­utes later, the Air­bus A320 car­ry­ing 155 pas­sen­gers and crew had come to a stand­still in the mid­dle of the Hud­son River.

Ev­ery­one aboard sur­vived, un­be­liev­ably de­fy­ing the ter­ri­ble death rate that usu­ally ac­com­pa­nies a forced land­ing on wa­ter.

The cause of the mishap was a to­tal loss of power in both en­gines due to a col­li­sion with a flock of birds.

In the 208 sec­onds that fol­lowed, the calm pres­ence and rapid­fire rea­son­ing of Cap­tain Sul­len­berger were all that stood in the way of sev­eral un­think­able out­comes (in­clud­ing the plane crash­ing into nearby New York City).

The ti­tle role is played by Tom Hanks. Hav­ing forged a golden ca­reer in play­ing a wide va­ri­ety of Amer­i­can ev­ery­men, Hanks is the log­i­cal choice to play a gen­uinely mod­est and unas­sum­ing, real-life hero.

The film also cov­ers the af­ter­math of the in­ci­dent, where Sul­len­berger be­came the sub­ject of a gru­elling in­ves­ti­ga­tion by govern­ment reg­u­la­tors.

Clock­ing in at just over 90 min­utes, Sully is a no-frills, low-thrills tale of hero­ism that draws the ad­mi­ra­tion and in­spi­ra­tion from the viewer.

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