Sleepless in Seattle was the film that coined the phrase Chick Flick in 1993, the second of three films with beloved Meg Ryan and while understated, actually showcased the range of the iconic actor adored on a global level. Not just anyone is compared to Spencer Tracey or Gregory Peck in one sentence.
On a roll in his distinguished career is an understatement for Thomas Jeffrey Hanks, however following from the thrills to tears of Captain Phillips followed by simmering spy drama Bridge of Spies, he now is again to stimulate cinema audiences as aviator hero Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger. As expected, the combination of auteur Clint Eastwood directing Hanks is award worthy visceral brilliance in a true story that evoked the world known as Miracle on the Hudson.
On an icy cold January morning, there was no indication that US Airlines flight 1549 would have engine malfunction due to a high flying flock of birds and with a sleight of quick minded safety negotiation, the veteran of the skies glided the plane calmly through the New York skyline to skim-land across the smooth waters of the Hudson River. All 155 people on board survived which indeed was a miracle and a sign of hope New York needed. Brace yourself as Sully is told from various angles of before, during and aftermath of the incident including a trial the Captain and his loyal co-pilot were put through in order to confirm the actual malfunction.
From appearances on retro TV gems The Love Boat and Happy Days to starring as a double act in Bosom Buddies, it wasn’t until 1984 when films Splash & Bachelor Party made box office gold and Hanks became an instant go-to comedy star including bumbling around house renovations with Shelley Long in crowd favourite The Money Pit (1986). Few would have predicted an Academy Award nomination loomed for his body swapping role in Big (1988). That same year, an early attempt at dramatic persona Punchline was critically acclaimed but failed to reach an audience even with perennial co-star Sally Field, his future mum in Forrest Gump.
Joining up with a detective dog in Turner and Hooch (1989) continued the comedic trend however a string of flops followed including The Burbs (now a cult favourite but not popular upon release), Joe Vs the Volcano (significant due to his first pairing with Meg Ryan) and biggest failure of all, Bonfire of the Vanities (1990).
Things skyrocketed fast after playing the drunk coach of a female baseball team during wartime in the unlikely gem A League of their Own (1992) to a complete overturn Philadelphia (1993) as a man with Aids taking his employer to trial when they fire him gaining Oscar win number one.
Forrest Gump followed, Oscar win number two, and when collecting the award, his long matted hair and beard shocked everyone although it was for his Castaway (2000) character a film I admire greatly. Now considered classics Apollo 13 (1995), Saving Private Ryan, You’ve Got Mail (1988) and The Green Mile (1999) kept his reputation ascending.
Mid decade during all the hits came a risk release, the very first computer animated feature film Toy Story had the voice of Hanks playing Woody, the rest is history with Toy Story 4 on the way.
Da Vinci Code, Toy Story sequels and appearances on TV shows like 30 Rock were stellar but producing became more a priority for his production company he oversees with actress wife Ria Wilson. Underappreciated 2011 flop Larry Crowne, deserves to be seen for fun not to mention his connection with Julia Roberts shines. Not so much Cloud Atlas (2012) derived from an un-filmable book his time travelling being is interesting but much of the film remains incomprehensible.
Now Sully is in cinemas and sure to rivet audiences as much as the terrified passengers in the falling plane, Tom Hanks is undeniably part of the modern era of Hollywood true stars which there are few, Clooney, Streep, Cruise are part of this esteemed company alongside Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton who hark back to a time when cinema was changing and names not only sold tickets but assured quality.
SULLY – Rated M – Now Showing
Shane A. BassettSydney Unleashed is one of Australia’s premier entertainment publications exploring the latest in lifestyle trends. From Sydney’s finest restaurants, cafes and bars to the hottest in gadgets, products, and home entertainment, Sydney Unleashed is your one-stop lifestyle platform.