Sully ★★★★½

"It's been a while since New York had news this good... especially with an airplane in it."

Jon Ronson wrote a book titled, "So You've Been Publicly Shamed." It sought to expose a vicious proclivity in the hive mind of indignant masses. While Sully is hardly shamed in the eyes of the public, the same can't be said of the NTSB or the media; inclined as it is to service tension and forge doubt even in those having directly participated in the act covered. This is Sully's plague; that of a nagging doubt emboldened by media craftsmen. This post-evidential theorizing in the age of unlimited knowledge sees folks justifying heroism. An intuitive vs intellectual post-hoc investigative drama unfolds as Eastwood touches on notions of utilitarianism. Sully reaches back through his memory for confirmation of his own knowledge, skill and wherewithal.

Ours is a culture that creates and destroys idols in mere hours, and this is the space Eastwood's film occupies. Positive fame is frighteningly precarious, and Sully's doggedly humanitarian platform rests on the backs of a believing public eager for a good story post-financial collapse. 9/11 adjacent imagery abounds -- risky as it may be -- and incepts fantasy scenarios of one being able to simply wake up and take it all back -- as Sully does when awaking from his own particular plane-and-skyscraper-related nightmare. Not since LAST YEAR AT MARIENBAD can I recall a film that deals so brilliantly and provocatively with memory. This may be Eastwood's best directorial effort to date.

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