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Sully demonstrates that nice guys dont necessarily finish last
Clint Eastwood, left, gives direction to Tom Hanks on the set of "Sully." The film is playing in local theaters. - photo by Chris Hicks
By now you have no doubt come across numerous stories about Sully, Clint Eastwoods new movie that stars Tom Hanks as Chesley Sullenberger the pilot who, with First Officer Jeff Skiles (Aaron Eckhart), safely guided a passenger airliner to an emergency water landing on the Hudson River in January 2009.

This film about the Miracle on the Hudson is getting rave reviews and was a box-office hit after opening last weekend not a hit on the Captain America or Jungle Book scale, of course, but very successful nonetheless.

And, naturally, theres Oscar talk since Sully is really the first salvo by a major studio in the Academy Award sprint that begins each September. Whether it will still be included in that conversation come January remains to be seen. But it should be.

Its also worth noting that Sully is an adult movie about good people doing good things, without any hidden agendas, dark secrets, lies or deceit.

That the film did well at the box office should send a signal to Hollywood that theres an audience out there for heroes who dont wear masks, capes or jet packs, who dont have superpowers, who arent seeking revenge, and who care deeply about such real-life values as honor, service, humility, love and the instinct to do good.

Sully is about people, real people not just Sullenberger but most everyone in the film doing the right thing, helping one another and reacting in a positive way when confronted by unprecedented circumstances.

Really, whens the last time you saw a 21st-century movie that was about good people being good?

The conflict in Sully stems from the National Transportation Safety Board investigation of the incident, which initially shifts the blame from the extraordinary circumstances of a massive bird strike to pilot error because the plane was guided to the Hudson River instead of heading to a local airport. Did both engines really stop functioning or did he just miscalculate when one was actually still idling?

But in the end, even the board members arent villains. Theyre just doing their jobs, trying to uncover the truth, and therein lies the mystery and the source of Sullenbergers angst. Well, that and the enormous amount of unwanted public attention foisted on him. (If there are villains here, they may be members of the media.)

Actually, thats another thing. With so many films and television programs about people who are dying to become famous or just get on TV or the internet, its refreshing to see a movie about someone who doesnt want any of that.

I loved Sully, and its nice to have a movie playing in theaters that I can recommend without hesitation because Im asked to do that almost daily and there hasnt been one this good in quite a while.

And its worth noting that the PG-13 rating in this instance is fair, due to the images of crashing planes and the terror exhibited by those involved in the forced landing.

But its also worth noting that somewhere along the way, someone in power got nervous and must have felt that the film might come away with horrors! a PG rating instead of a PG-13.

So the F-word was added to the soundtrack, as if theres some law in place that requires every PG-13 movie to have a character speak it at least once.

When that word arrives, its spoken off-handedly by a character walking away from the camera, and hes already quite a ways off. Which leads me to suspect it was looped into the soundtrack late, perhaps as an afterthought.

Its purely gratuitous, its spoken during a moment that goes by so quickly you might miss it and theres absolutely no dramatic reason for its existence in this context.

In fact, I wonder if its in the script or if some anointed marketing genius got together with the director and warned, So, Clint, we might want to throw an F-bomb in there, just once, yknow? To be sure we get that PG-13? Whadayathink?

If so, shame on them.

It doesnt ruin the experience by any means, but it does, um, sully it a bit.
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