Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan, Domenick Lombardozzi, Victor Verhaeghe, Austin Stowell, Dakin Matthews, Scott Shepherd, Will Rogers, Sebastian Koch,
Genre: Biography, Drama, Crime, War, History
Age Rating: 12A/PG-13
Running Time: 141 Minutes
The last time these two masterminds of Hollywood paired up we saw the very interesting THE TERMINAL brought to life. Since LINCOLN in 2012, everybody has been wondering when Spielberg’s next directing brilliance would surface and since CAPTAIN PHILLIPS and SAVING MR. BANKS in 2013, most people have been waiting to see some more class from Mr Hanks, and well, here it is!
BRIDGE OF SPIES, another novel adaptation this year, tells the story (based on true events) of James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks), an insurance lawyer who became a global icon in terms of commitment to his profession and his country’s constitution, after being recruited to defend Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), a soviet spy, in court.
Donovan’s morals and professionalism inspire him to go against what is expected of him and instead give Rudolf a humane and fair trial in court. Amidst the entire backlash aimed at him and his family, he stands tall and dignified in defending this man who he believes to have been simply following orders, just like the thousands of Soviet and American spies alike before him. It is a powerful true story which is full of historical moments and leaves us with a gripping series of events, backed by an abundance of captivating performances and a brilliantly directed journey.
It is an absolute joy to see Tom Hanks back in a potentially award winning film, bringing to the viewer the types of performances we have seen previously in the likes of SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and SAVING MR. BANKS, and his supporting cast is equally as impressive. Mark Rylance warms the hearts of the audience as the co-operative and respectful Rudolf Abel who appears forced into his position as a spy and stands by his role for the well-being of his family. The relationship between these two shows how barriers can be overcome in times of war, an how at the end of the day we are all still people, not just enemies.
There is very little that I can knock about this film! Due to the cinema’s heating breaking, we even got a little bit of a 4D experience, as we covered ourselves with our coats while we watched Mr. Hanks struggling in a freezing cold 1950s Berlin.
Overall, BRIDGE OF SPIES was a showcasing of the talented visionary that is Steven Spielberg. The story was terrific, emotional and educational, and even in the ‘arctic conditions’ it never struggled to captivate its viewers. It was great to see Tom Hanks back on screen, and the film is a definite awards contender to be watched.
“In the shadow of war, one man showed the world what we stand for.”
Recommendation: A lesson in directing and acting which is well worth a watch on the big screen before awards season.