Like in life, relationships and airplane flights are often rocky and some even nose dive into a total disaster abyss. Paramount Pictures Flight, opened earlier this month to impressive box-office revenue (domestic to date $47,770,000) and it is still going strong. So successful Flight has been that Paramount is now moving aggressively romancing with a big Oscar campaign for the film.
Taking a co-starring nose dive with two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington (Safe House, Unstoppable) is the talented and beautiful TV and film star Nadine Velasquez (The League, Hart of Dixie) as Washington’s girlfriend, Katerina. It is not often that a Latino/a actor opens a film with an Oscar-winning superstar and when then do, it is a huge deal because it allows the Latino/a player to shine where everyone who is anyone in Hollywood can take notice. If you haven’t seen this movie, check out the trailer:
Velasquez has spread her wings since first being noticed in 2004 when she was ranked #93 in Maxim’s “100 Sexiest Women.” In 2005, USA Today named Nadine one of “Five Rising Stars to Watch Closely.” And, she returned to Maxim’s “Hot” list in 2007 and 2008. She’s been co-starring in television films and independent films, including the upcoming Aztec Warriors, the Scott Sanders film, starring Luis Guzman and Julia Vera.
Flight is a film about a vulnerable man– Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) who is a hard drinking, cocaine snorting airline pilot who enjoys lots of sex with one of his plane’s stewardesses, Katerina Marquez (Nadine Velazquez).
Whip’s drinking is just part of who he is. While he addresses the passengers personally he is secretly pouring some mini-vodka bottles into a bottle of orange juice. After disposing of the bottles, Whip returns to the cockpit, and naps while his co-pilot Ken takes over.
A sudden jolt stirs Whip, before the plane suddenly pitches into an uncontrolled dive. Steering mechanisms don’t respond, and numerous houses can be seen out the window. Staying relatively calm, Whip has the plane’s fuel ditched, before proposing a crazy maneuver: roll the airplane! With Ken and Margaret’s help, Whip inverts the plane upside down, leveling it out, before rolling it to crash-land on its belly in a field near a small church. The impact slams Whip’s head against the steering mechanism, knocking him out.
Whip wakes up in a hospital, where he finds his friend Charlie Anderson (Bruce Greenwood) in the room. Though Charlie claims Whip saved a lot of lives with his maneuver, he tells Whip (off-the-record) that there were 6 deaths, including Katerina.
What ensues is a battle of wills with himself, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators, a trial and soul searching as to whether or not to let his dead lover, Katerina, take the fall for his personal mess.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Flight, is as complicated as Cast Away, also a Zemeckis film, where Whip must face every aspect of his life which is being dissected by everyone who want to see him charged with manslaughter, and given jail time.
Nadine’s Katerina is at the center of this entire movie, even as Whip tries to justify that it was his piloting maneuvers that kept most survivors alive. Like most alcoholics in a spiral downhill, he’s in denial.
Flight is an exciting, thought-provoking film which does an excellent job of showcasing a fine actress, Nadine Velasquez.
Flight, in theaters now. Director: Robert Zemeckis; Writer: John Gatins; Stars: Nadine Velasquez, Denzel Washington and Carter Cabassa.