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Watch Clip: Zemeckis’ Harrowing Plane Crash in 'Flight,' Starring Washington

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 22, 2012 at 1:49PM

Check out this tour-de-force clip from the beginning of Bob Zemeckis's return to live-action, "Flight" (Nov. 2). The Paramount movie, which closed the New York Film Festival, showcases Denzel Washington at his best as an alcoholic captain who miraculously saves a diving plane and most of the passengers on board.
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"Flight"
"Flight"

Check out this tour-de-force clip from the beginning of Bob Zemeckis's return to live-action, "Flight" (Nov. 2). The Paramount movie, which closed the New York Film Festival (TOH review and press conference coverage is here), showcases Denzel Washington at his best as an alcoholic captain who miraculously saves a diving plane and most of the passengers on board. But he is in denial about his drinking problem. And he's in a whole bunch of trouble.

The film cost just $35 million, which is low-end for a director like Zemeckis. It was intended to be actor-writer John Gatins' second feature after 2005 family drama "Dreamers," but he let Zemeckis take it on, who in turn brought in Washington. At a recent industry screening, Zemeckis admitted some anxiety about taking a full-on serious drama (albeit with humorous moments from the likes of Don Cheadle and John Goodman) into today's unforgiving marketplace. He should not worry. Audiences are starving for this kind of accessible crowdpleaser.

Is it an Oscar contender? Paramount will push Washington, who has a shot in a competive category, for sure. So far reviews are upbeat.  We'll see where we are on opening day.

This article is related to: Denzel Washington, Trailers, Video, Flight, Video, Oscars, Awards, Awards


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.