During the Cold War, James B. Donovan, an American lawyer portrayed cleverly by Tom Hanks, is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.
Bridge of Spies is what may be the finest period piece of 2015. Nobody knows how to make these movies like Steven Spielberg does, and his directing highly pays off in this film. Instead of delivering us a huge history lesson of the Cold War, Spielberg gives us a small court drama that takes place during the Cold War. Both Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance deliver great performances, with Tom Hanks digging into his character and making him feel real, and Mark Rylance completely disappearing into his role and providing a slight sense of humor. Although he isn’t too much in the film, Rylance delivers a very realistic performance that he deserves an Oscar nomination for, at the most. Hanks, who has the most screen-time in the movie, entertains and carries on the movie with great humor and monologues, and his character feels very challenged but motivated while defending a member the opposing side of the war. This may be one of Hanks’ finest performances in a Spielberg movie.
What makes Bridge of Spies stand out more than anything else is its directing. Spielberg is doing what he does best with this movie, developing an interesting thriller from such a small subject within a bigger one in our history. It teaches you enough about the setting, but just the right amount to let it focus on the smaller story as well. The way the movie is finds such a thrilling and interesting story within a larger subject as done very well and in a very focused way by Spielberg. In most scenes, he lets the camera flow without many cuts, and it works perfectly in many shots. The story never drags, and there isn’t ever a dull moment or a scene that doesn’t feel as realistic as the rest. The script from the Coen Brothers is also fantastic, and the writing always felt alive and very thoughtful as well. The script did a great job at delivering every scene’s point clearly, and did well at conveying the movie’s message. The movie’s ending was very satisfying, as the movie has an excellent climax, as well as a delivering ending.
As a Best Picture nominee of this year, Bridge of Spies rewarding enough to be considered worthy of its nomination. With great performances, directing, and writing, Bridge of Spies is one of the must-sees of 2015. See this movie expecting a very talky movie, and not much action, but I think most younger viewers will enjoy this movie, so you should check this one out soon, as it is now on Blu-ray and other home media.