Picks and Pans Review: Pushing Tin
Pushing Tin, an anemic comedy about air traffic controllers, fails to stay aloft. Given its talented cast and the impressive credits of director Mike Newell (Donnie Brasco and Four Weddings and a Funeral), the movie is a disappointment.
The genesis for Tin was a 1996 New York Times magazine article by writer Darcy Frey about the stressful lives of air traffic controllers. It must have sounded like a perfect topic for a movie, but not this one. While the scenes showing controllers on the job are indeed fascinating, every time Tin ventures away from the workplace, it hits turbulence. Screenwriters Glen and Les Charles (co-creators of TV's Cheers) have concocted a meandering plot about rival controllers (Cusack and Thornton) and their wives (Blanchett and Jolie, respectively) that lurches unconvincingly from scene to scene with all the grace of a 747 bumping over runway potholes.
The main reason to see Tin is Blanchett (Elizabeth). The Australian native continues to impress, here playing a Long Island housewife as if to the shopping mall born. (R)
Bottom Line: Long flight to nowhere