As America observed the 15th anniversary of 9/11, Hollywood released a film about an aviation disaster with a very different outcome. SULLY, directed by Clint Eastwood and currently the #1 movie at the box office, tells the true story of the 2009 “Miracle on the Hudson” with the superb Tom Hanks as pilot Chesley Sullenberger, who landed his crippled plane on the River and saved his 155 passengers.
Most of the film focuses on the investigation of Sully immediately following the incident, questioning whether he could have landed the plane at a nearby airport, as Air Traffic Control instructed. The underlying message is appreciation for the quiet heroism of hard-working, everyday Americans doing their jobs with pride and competence—air traffic controllers, cops, Coast Guardsmen, ferry workers and, yes, airline personnel.
The film arrives in the midst of a sullen season when the nation needs reminders of just that sort of dignity and decency.