Saturday, 10 September 2016

SULLY: A Vote For Trump

It put my cellphone in flight mode. That’s how good a movie it was; and how wonderful a storyteller Clint Eastwood is. But it’s important to note that Clint Eastwood in real life shares politics with the vigilante he played in Dirty Harry. He’s a tough ol’ cookie, and pretty much as far right as he can be. (Remember when Eastwood somewhat famously and wackily directed a speech to a chair at the Republican National Convention four years ago?)
So I’m not going to deny that Sully is damn good entertainment. But what I am going to say is that the politics of the movie will offer up solid votes for Trump in November.
Who is Chesley Sullenberger, after all, but Donald Trump? Like Trump he is a very white man — in this case not blonde — but white haired with a white moustache. But much more importantly, he is a man who stands up to the government, to the establishment (in this case represented by the NTSB, The National Transportation Safety Board). And Sully does it alone, except for his trusty sidekick  — played by the much too good looking. personality deficient and also very white Aaron Eckhart (Mike Pence, anyone?). 
But Trump hasn’t just convinced his supporters that he is standing up to the establishment. He stands up in his own particular way — in a manner which is quirky, surprising, and even scary, at times — but fun. Sully Sullenberger was supposed to save 155 passengers by turning the plane back to La Guardia Airport, but he didn’t. He saved the passengers by executing a daring landing on (not in as he reminds the NTSB) the Hudson River. This is very important. For what people like about Trump is not just that he stands up to Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama and The Affordable Care Act, and all of the bureaucracy of big government that would tax people to death and take away their gun privileges, but that he does does so in his own crazy way. In other words, he is an individual.
This means that Trump, for some, can do no wrong. He can say all the crazy things he wants and do all the crazy things he wants, because that’s the most American thing about him. Rob Ford ultimately became pretty unpopular in Toronto; only because we are boring Canadians (thank God!). Up here we actually value good manners, tact, and the rule of law more than we admire ‘individuality.’ But Trump does it (as Sinatra sings) ‘My Way’ — and that’s about as American as it gets.
In addition to all this, Sully — like Trump — is a hero for the working man: ordinary guys buy drinks for him in the movie, and a sweet female motel worker hugs him, just out of — well — admiration overflow. And in Eastwood’s movie Sully’s challenge is compared to the 9/11 tragedy. Who saved New York after that? Well the man who takes most of credit for it is none other than Rudy Giuliani — a Trump sometime surrogate and hardcore supporter.
No, you won’t convince me otherwise. Eastwood made this movie and released it
to get Trump elected. 
And the sad news is that it might work. 
I saw the movie at Cineplex Odeon Varsity in Toronto. The Cineplex Odeon Varsity reminds me of an entertainment centre in a very upscale seniors’ building. Many of the people in the audience are so old they move with difficulty.
But lots of them put their hands together and clapped. 
Be afraid folks; be very afraid.