Sunday, March 17, 2019

1064. Bridge of Spies

Bridge of Spies
Directed by Steven Spielberg

I believe my last experience with Spielberg was War Horse, so I was a little gun shy this time around. Fortunately this time around, Tom Hanks was involved and everything that man touches is transformed into historical rainbows, including Dan Brown novels.

At the height of the Cold War, insurance lawyer James B. Donovan is persuaded to defend Rudolf Abel, a man accused of being a Soviet spy. His position as Abel's attorney earns him a great deal of persecution, and his own wife discourages him from mounting the best defense he can. Of course she does, because it is the women's role in these movies to tell men to stop doing remarkable things and bring home some damn marmalade. Anyway, Donovan comes to realize that the Soviets would be open to a trade and hilarity ensues (if your idea of hilarity is white men looking sullen).

Given the option, I would rather have Tom Hanks be my legal counsel than a board certified attorney (sorry, Dad). Tom Hanks made this movie for me; ordinarily this kind of film wouldn't interest me. I feel like all Cold War movies have the same dreary aesthetic, which certainly fits the time, but doesn't really intrigue me. I've complained in the past that Spielberg can be a little sappy for me, but I think he restrained himself in this movie admirably (and of course Mark Rylance helped with this).

In other Tom Hanks related news, apparently Bollywood is remaking Forrest Gump. Uhhhhhh....

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

In real life Frederic Pryor wasn't trying to rescue a girlfriend in East Berlin, but was just trying to return some library books. Sounds like my kind of fella.

Francis Powers' son was a consultant for the production and had a cameo.


  1. Well, e can almost always agree about a Spielberg film can't we?

    Cold war spy films on the other hand .. usually love 'em...Loaded with atmosphere harsh rain washed dark shadowy streets in a depressed Mitteleuropa with menacing guys in trench coats on street corners, moral ambiguity in which everyone is the bad guy. Brilliant, just my stuff... but let Spielberg loose on it...? and what do we get..
    Something that is supposedly based on a true story, mangled beyond reasonable lengths full of dull cliches.
    At least it didn't have a kid and his horse in it...

  2. I liked the movie, though I am not as enamored with Tom Hanks as you are. Held my interest, but wasn't a fave.

  3. Tom Hanks is very likeable, on screen and in interviews. But I do wish he would take on more adventurous roles. Not to underrate the talent required to play the straight guy and hold major movies together, like he does, just that I think he could be doing more.

    A bit like Tom Cruise, who is mostly dull as dishwater, but on the rare occasions he actually strikes out (Interview With a Vampire, Tropic Thunder) he's brilliant.