Movie Advent Calendar #21 – Bridge of Spies

“My name’s Donovan. Irish, both sides. Mother and father. I’m Irish and you’re German. But what makes us both Americans? Just one thing. One. Only one. The rule book. We call it the Constitution, and we agree to the rules, and that’s what makes us Americans. That’s all that makes us Americans. So don’t tell me there’s no rule book, and don’t nod at me like that you son of a bitch.”

Tom Hanks in Bridge of Spies

In 2012 I did a cinematic advent calendar of twenty four films. These were films that I really liked and have enjoyed at the cinema. This year on a similar theme I will be posting a movie advent calendar of twenty four movies.

As I said earlier in the calendar, I have really enjoyed virtually everything Tom Hanks has done, I have seen most of his films and there are a fair few in this movie advent calendar and there was a few in the cinematic advent calendar I did in 2012. So it wasn’t too surprising that I enjoyed Bridge of Spies.

Bridge of Spies is a historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 2015. It stars Tom Hanks as James Donovan, a lawyer who is recruited by the CIA to negotiate the release of a pilot, Francis Gary Powers (played by Austin Stowell), who was captured after his plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. The film is based on the real-life events of the 1960 U-2 incident, in which Powers was captured and held as a spy by the Soviet Union. Donovan is tasked with negotiating a prisoner exchange, in which Powers would be released in exchange for Soviet spy Rudolf Abel, who had been arrested in the United States.

The film is set during the height of the Cold War, and it does a great job of capturing the tense political climate of the time. Hanks gives a fantastic performance as Donovan, bringing a sense of intelligence and moral conviction to the character. The supporting cast is also strong, with standout performances from Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel, the Soviet spy who is at the center of the negotiation, and Amy Ryan as Donovan’s wife, Mary.

I really liked the attention to historical detail. The costumes, sets, and dialogue all feel authentic and help to transport the viewer back in time. The cinematography is also top-notch, with some beautiful shots of Berlin and New York City. I think it is this kind of film that made me really enjoy my recent trip to Berlin. I never though had the time to get to the bridge, maybe next time.

Bridge of Spies is a well-crafted and compelling historical drama that is both informative and entertaining.

Get Bridge of Spies at Amazon.

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