Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bridge of Spies Movie Review

The Fall brings my favorite time of movie watching, the award contenders. Enter Bridge of Spies directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Tom Hanks and a script written by the Coen Brothers. How is this Cold War thriller? Well let's take a look.

The story opens in 1957, when the FBI arrest Rudolph Abel (Mark Rylance) for spying on the United States.

Enter Jim Donovan (Tom Hanks), a successful insurance lawyer, who was given the task of defending Abel. While everyone is ready to throw Abel under the bus and make an example out of him, Donovan believes that everyone is entitled to a fair and just trial.

In another part of the country, the CIA has brought in several young Air Force pilots to be part of a new program to fly a state of the art spy plane.

The Abel trial has ended and to no surprise, Abel is found guilty. Donovan kept Abel away from the death penalty.

It was a lucky turn of events that Donovan was able to keep Abel away from the death penalty as Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell) is shot down out of the sky above Russia and is facing a stiff prison sentence of his own.

Donovan finds himself as the man who is going to be sent to try to negotiate the release of Powers for Abel. While Donovan is sent overseas, he also discovers another young American, Fredric Pryor (Will Rogers), who was detained after finding himself on the wrong side of the newly built Berlin Wall.

A powerful film that captures the hysteria and paranoia of the Cold War. The two most powerful moments are when Powers U2 spy plane is shot down and when we see the building of the Berlin Wall. It's the first time I can remember seeing the wall being built in a movie.

I highly recommend Bridge of Spies. Watch an every man do the right thing even when doing the right thing is not the popular choice. Watch his struggle with the country, the world and worst of all his own family. Let the movie award season begin here.

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