Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are a duo that have never not given us great cinema, whether separately, or in the best cases, together. Over the years, Spielberg has branched off from his classic sci-fi works to target the more historically based dramas and stories people forget through our histories, but with Bridge of Spies we are reminded as to what makes us Americans and also how valuable a life truly is when that life proves itself.
Before you read any further, I want you all to realize that this is not the type of spy film you may think it is. This is not James Bond or Ethan Hunt, but something much scarier and far less flashy than gadgets and sexy women. Instead, we are given a script by Hollywood’s golden boys — The Coen Brothers — as we are treated to a dialogue heavy drama about the limits people will go in a time of conflict of interest to keep peace and maintain their humanistic values. With it’s backdrop of a Cold War era Soviet Union and America, you are encased by the lovable Tom Hanks’ performance and the deep messages he brings to the table as he portrays real life lawyer James Donovan.
Besides the magnificent Tom Hanks and his performances throughout, I have to give credit to the man his character had to defend through the film. The actor’s name is Mark Rylance, a relative unknown who will and should be getting Oscar consideration for his role as the subdued Russian spy. He plays off Hanks’ Donovan beautifully every time they share the screen and it makes you laugh while also inspiring you to always stand back up.
With every Spielberg film you are getting the best when it comes to creating shots along with getting the best out of your characters and story and it may be the norm for us to look at Spielberg’s master skills that way, but it is not something to take lightly. This man constantly breathes life into whatever he is creating and even with a film that has no action in it, you feel like a caterpillar in it’s crysillis waiting to break free of the tension emotion as soon as the film ends. That being said, others are going to feel like they want to break out because they can’t take all the talking. This will not be for everyone, especially if you are not a fan of films with large amounts of dialogue. Tarantino tends to get away with it because of his over the top violence and action, but great dialogue is great dialogue.
In the end, I thought this was a superior film to most from this year, but it is not the style of film that expands the talents of arguably the greatest director in cinematic history. That being said, even Spielberg’s “lesser” works out-due many other great directors best films and that is why I am giving Bridge of Spies a score of…