3 years after Lincoln, one of Hollywood’s biggest directors presents his new movie, Bridge of Spies. During the Cold War, a lawyer named James Donovan is assigned to defend a Soviet spy in front of the law until he is recruited to perform an exchange with a captured American pilot.
It’s a classic Steven Spielberg film. He goes back to what I think is the essence of his filmography. Bridge of Spies is a big budget historical drama, with beautiful cinematography, a touchy-feely story, and famous actors. It’s very classic but it is still charming. Going back to the root of one genre is good from time to time.
So, sure, it’s nothing we haven’t seen, as in 2011 he did War Horse, another big budget historical drama. What differentiates Bridge of Spies is its pace.
No more huge battle scenes, with rifles flying off everywhere and men falling down throughout the entire film. We have time to reflect on what we see and at the same time we’re never bored.
Those quick but very striking few words or images scattered throughout the action are what caught my interest. That short sequence near the Berlin Wall, where two Germans are shot down trying to cross it, or the realization that the American pilot is going home in disgrace because he didn’t die, those subtle moments make the film so remarkable.
It’s no masterpiece and it’s quite simple, yet it worked, since it earned several nominations including the Best Actor and Supporting Actor categories.
I’ve always been quite fond of Mark Rylance. He’s a theater actor, who does Shakespeare brilliantly, and he’s been seen in several TX Shows including the great Wolf Hall, with Damian Lewis. I like to see him in that sort of movies, even if he does little to nothing. Sure the plot revolves around his character being a spy, but he’s basically decoration. There’s one scene that really caught my attention; when James Donovan asks him if he’s not scared and he just doesn’t flinch. Rudolf Abel was one mysterious and quite terrifying man if you ask me!
As for Tom Hanks, he’s very basic, at the image of the film. He’s good, but there’s nothing special about his performance. This happened a lot this year I felt, lots of people ar being nominated for being famous, not really depending on their performances.
The point I found most interesting, and that got me into researching this part of history a little more, is the treatment of the American soldier. Like I said, he was considered a failure for not dying. The meaning behind it being that they had to obey, no questions asked, they were sent to their deaths without having a say in the matter. Wars are quite terrifying and Bridge of Spies very subtly shows bits of that, without being over violent.
Of Steven Spielberg’s most recent movies, Bridge of Spies is one of my favorite. I don’t think it’s going to win much at the Oscars, considering the competition, but it earned its place up there. Congrats Steven!
WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT BRIDGE OF SPIES?