In the cold war, A lawyer, James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) recruited by the CIA and involved in an intense negotiation mission to release and exchange a CIA U-2 spy-plane pilot, Francis G. Powers (Austin Stowell) that was arrested alive after his plane was shot down by the Soviet Union during a mission- with a KGB intelligence officer, Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) who was arrested for espionage in the US.
As I talked about before, it really did seem like this film was a winner right from the get go, Tom Hanks starring in a Steven Spielberg directed Coen Brothers scripted movie set around the Cold War? Hells yes, this movie is going to be excellent. And…well, yeah, this movie is, in fact, excellent. But not only that, it’s the most perfect movie Steven Spielberg has made since maybe Munich ten years ago.
Everything about this movie just works so well, it really is one of the best movies of the year.
Tom Hanks, always giving a great performance, just knocks it out of the park as James B. Donovan, playing the role as sort of an opposite of Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. In fact, the whole movie could be seem somewhat as Spielberg’s To Kill A Mockingbird. I make the Atticus Finch connection to James B. Donovan because he starts off as somebody who does not want the job he’s being given, opposite to Finch who seemed more than happy to take it, but once he gets into more into the case, he knows that he’s doing his job even if he has to go against everybody who just wants this to end quickly. And Hanks perfectly fits the role to a tee.
Next to Hanks, the other great standing point of the cast is Mark Rylance, making his first leading film performance here and he’s definitely a guy who’s got a great future ahead of him, so much so that Rylance reteams with Spielberg for his next film, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant) out next summer, and judging by this performance he gives as Rudolph Abel, he’s got a great future ahead of him, surely gonna get him a best supporting actor nomination for this come awards season.
You also have a lot of other great people in the cast such as Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, and especially Sebastian Koch, who if he wasn’t as old as he was, I could easily see him playing James Bond, he’s got that look and feel for Bond but unfortunately, the Bond producers know not to go too old with that character so I don’t think that’ll ever happen. Still, Koch playing Vogel in this, he’s great in here too.
The story is very good, it’s investing, and you get into it because you really don’t know what’s going to happen if you never heard of the story, there are great moments of tension especially in the finale, you really have that fear that something bad is about to happen and you’re on the edge of your seat all throughout the movie.
The cinematography in this, done by Janusz Kaminski, is absolutely fantastic, some of the best cinematography of the year, he does a phenomenal job giving the movie its’ visual beauty.
Bridge Of Spies is very much Spielberg’s To Kill A Mockingbird, greatly acted, beautiful cinematography, great music by Thomas Newman and an excellent script. This is what makes Steven Spielberg such a great director, he knows he doesn’t have to just rely on big blockbusters but can also tackle dramas like this and make them feel just as epic and exciting as they should. This really is one of the best achievements of the year, it’s as perfect of a movie as you can get, this is definitely very high up as one of the best movies of the year.