Thursday, June 30, 2016

The First Trailer For "Sully" Braces You For a Familiar Flight

Scene from Sully
With recent news regarding this upcoming Oscar season, it only seems right to start judging which films will be the most talked about in the year to come. Among those that is looking to have at least a faint mention is director Clint Eastwood's Sully. Considering that the director's previous film American Sniper lead to a great deal of controversy despite landing several Oscar nominations (including Best Picture), it's best not to count the veteran out of this race. The first trailer has dropped for the film based on the life of Captain Sully Sullenberger, and it looks to have a familiar template on its mind. The only hope is that it can take flight and produce something greater.

I admit that I am in the minority who liked American Sniper and personally felt it was the only Oscar nomination that Bradley Cooper deserved. I think that there's value in Eastwood's provocative and stubborn worldview that makes for compelling cinema. Considering that he's looking to spend his later years dealing with figures in tense and often violent situations, Sully doesn't seem like the worst idea for a movie. Considering that Tom Hanks has recently appeared in heroic roles such as Captain Phillips and Bride of Spies, it makes sense to cast him as the every man who can achieve the impossible. 

My one hope is that this movie is good enough to right something that has felt more blatant than the alleged Leonardo DiCaprio snubbing of yesteryear. I'm talking about how Hanks hasn't been nominated for an Oscar since Cast Away. It's true. He has two wins to his credit, but it's hard not to see his work over the past 15 years and not see a few that had legitimate gravitas. Even last year's Bridge of Spies - which gave Mark Rylance a deserved Best Supporting Actor trophy - has a twinge of underrated simply by ignoring Hanks. I am not saying that we need to give him a trophy for this if it is bad, but credit should be given - especially if we are victim to just give Meryl Streep nominations for mediocre work.

Sully is definitely one of those films that I am looking forward to, if just because I like Eastwood. Considering that it's going to likely be paired with fellow provocative director Oliver Stone's Snowden, it does seem likely that there will be a politically charged and tense Oscar season ahead. It's for a good reason. It is an election year, after all. 

Check out the trailer below:

Looks good. Here's the plot description according to IMDb:
The story of Chesley Sullenberger, who became a hero after gliding his plane along the water in the Hudson River, saving all of his 155 passengers.
Before I get into the elephant in the room, I will say that this trailer at times reminded me of United 93. Not in the shaky camera aesthetic, but just in the tension of being aboard a falling plane. It gives the trailer that extra boost before you realize that this is only a small piece of the puzzle. The more obvious comparison is Flight, which starred Denzel Washington in a fictional story of a similar event. From the looks of things, Sully may be accused of being an alcoholic and various similar pieces that may make it hard for this film to feel original despite being such.

On my overall radar, it is definitely a film that will be worth keeping an eye on. Even at his more tepid side lately, Eastwood knows how to provoke in exciting ways. Maybe his political views or American Sniper may turn some off, but it's exciting to have a filmmaker who prods in uncomfortable ways, whether or not you agree with him. I don't sometimes, but Sully at least looks like a fine middle ground that will be full of action and attempt to turn something familiar into something exciting. I don't expect it to be the greatest movie, but it's hard to see a cast like this and not expect something good to come from it.

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