Tag Archives: Laura Linney


Movie:  Sully

Rating:  5 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:   On January 15, 2009, the passengers of US Airways Flight 1549 were in a hurry to get on their plane at La Guardia Airport and get on to Charlotte.  It was just another routine day filled with normal concerns, until their plane took off.  Then 208 seconds in the air later, they found themselves on a jet making an emergency landing in the Hudson River.  The “Miracle on the Hudson” was the fact the plane landed safely and intact, and that all 155 passengers and crew were quickly rescued with only a few minor injuries.

The fact that Captain “Sully” Sullenberger (Tom Hanks) performed an amazing feat of flying under very adverse conditions is not questioned.  But hours after the plane ditched in the water, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is examining the actions of the crew under a microscope, and serious questions are raised.  Did Sully and his co-pilot Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart) make sound decisions?  Could they have made an emergency landing back to La Guardia, or nearby Teterboro Airport?  These questions and many others hang over the pilots’ heads, while the media frenzy swirls about them and anoint them as national heroes.  One very possible outcome, if fault is assigned to Sully, is loss of a pension after 42 years as a pilot.  Sharing this concern is Sully’s wife Lorraine (Laura Linney), who must agonize alone while Sully and Jeff Skiles remain sequestered and run the gauntlet of the NTSB investigation.

This is just a terrific movie on every level.  The action scenes showing the brief and terrifying flight of US Airways 1549 is riveting.  Likewise, the tension building up to the NTSB hearing is suspenseful and eye-opening.  The public had no clue of the drama going on behind the scenes.  Clint Eastwood at 86 years old is still the master film maker; this is his best film since Million Dollar Baby.  Naturally, the acting is first rate.  Tom Hanks captures the dedication of Captain Sully perfectly, who is tortured by doubts as he must handle the burden of defending his actions.  Hanks must get a Best Actor nomination from this film.  It has been 21 years since he won the Oscar for Forrest Gump, and about time he gets recognized again.  See this movie; I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Dialogue Nuggets:  Sully to NTSB – “It was not a crash; it was a forced water landing.”

Lorraine to Sully – “I’m thinking of running over the press with my car.”

TV Reporter – “Why Captain Sullenberger made the decision only he can answer.  But we now know it was the wrong decision.”

Jeff Skiles – “Can you believe they charge $5 for a Snickers?”

David Letterman to Crew Members – “What was the first thing you heard coming from the cockpit?”  Crew – “Brace for impact!”  Letterman – “Ever hear that from the cockpit before?”

Katie Couric – “How do you feel when people call you a hero?”

Jeff Skiles to NTSB – “If he had followed the damn rules, we’d all be dead!”

Air Traffic Controller – “I guess you haven’t heard.  I lost FL 1549.”  Friend – “I guess you haven’t heard.  He landed the son of a bitch!”

Sully – “No one warned us.  No one told us we were going to lose two engines at a lower altitude than any plane in history.”

The real Sully to FL 1549 Passengers – “We will be joined in our hearts and minds forever.”

Theme Music – Clint Eastwood is a very talented man.  He wrote the music for the theme song Flying Home, and co-wrote lyrics with Tierney Sutton.

Post Credits – Stay for the credits and see many of the real passengers with Captain Sully and his wife Lorraine.  She makes a point of thanking them for the Christmas cards they still receive from them.




Mr. Holmes

Movie:  Mr. Holmes

Rating:  5 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:   Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) has long been renowned as the world’s foremost consulting detective since his days at 221-B Baker Street in London back in the 1880s.  But now Mr. Holmes has retired to a seaside cottage near the white cliffs of Dover, and his primary concern is tending to his colony of bees.  World War 2 has recently concluded, and the 93 year old detective has slowed down physically and, alas, mentally.  While the razor sharp analytical brain of Holmes can still deduce where his housekeeper Mrs. Munro (Laura Linney) went on the train that day and for what purpose, names of people are eluding him and he compensates by writing their names on the sleeves of his shirts.

While Sherlock Holmes is still a logical man who eschews the trappings of sentiment or displays of emotion, he has become somewhat enamored with the adulation of  11 year old Roger (Milo Parker), the son of his housekeeper.  Holmes realizes the young lad has surreptitiously been reading a draft of the first hand account of his final case, an affair that was previously published by his loyal biographer Dr. John Watson, but in fact was not captured accurately in the story read by the general public.  An even more fictionalized version of the story was immortalized in a film, The Lady In Grey, a movie seen by a bemused Holmes in a local theater house.  Sherlock Holmes is determined to capture the true facts of the case, but to his dismay he is mentally blocked from remembering key elements of what really happened to Ann Kelmot (Hattie Morahan), the “lady in grey”.

What is the great detective to do?  He must solve this last case, and to do so, he must improve his memory.  Holmes has tried a holistic cure of taking royal jelly harvested from his bees, but it is not enough.  He receives an invitation from Tamiki Umezaki (Hiroyuki Sanada) in Japan to come visit and together they will seek the rare prickly ash plant near Hiroshima, a plant that may possess the mental healing powers that Holmes fervently seeks.  While searching the landscape of the war ravaged Japan for the prickly ash, Holmes is presented with another conundrum to resolve from his Japanese host.

Back in England, Holmes has taken Roger under his wing and has instructed him in the care and habits of his bees.  The boy is a very quick study, and Holmes recognizes a keen intellect in the lad and tries to encourage him to develop his mind.  For his part, Roger reports to Holmes on a regular basis that the population of the bees is declining.  The missing bees turns out to be the third mystery for Holmes to solve, and one with serious consequences.

For movie goers that require a constant adrenaline rush of action sequences, explosions, car chases and gun battles, this is not the film for you.  But for film lovers who can appreciate a clever story with amazing character development, superb dialogue, top-notch acting and beautiful cinematography, this is the best movie of the year so far.  Ian McKellen has had an illustrious career, but this tour de force as Sherlock Holmes is his masterpiece.  For those of us who grew up reading Sherlock Holmes stories, Ian McKellen manages to capture what Holmes would have been like as an old man, still brilliant, but finally becoming a bit more human as well.  If there is any justice, McKellen will get a Best Actor Oscar nomination, and look for this  small film to gather a Best Picture nomination as well.

Dialogue Nuggets:  Holmes – “The deerstalker (hat)?  I’ve never worn one.  That was an embellishment of the author (Dr. Watson).”

Holmes to Roger – “The first thing to know is there is no danger.  The bees only concern is self preservation.”

Holmes to Mrs. Munro – Exceptional children are often the product of unremarkable parents.”

Holmes – “I think I was real once, until John made me into fiction.”

Ann Kelmot – “Play your parlor tricks elsewhere, Mr. Holmes!”

Holmes to Roger – “I look like I’ve been attacked by a hound of the Baskervilles.”

Holmes – “I came here to tend bees, so I could never harm anyone again.”

Clever Cameo:  In the film within the film (The Lady In Grey), Sherlock Holmes is portrayed by Nicholas Rowe, the same actor who portrayed Holmes in the movie Young Sherlock Holmes back in 1985.