Who doesn’t like a good spy movie? Who doesn’t like Tom Hanks? And who doesn’t like a new spin on the Hollywood classic that is the Cold War? Nobody, and that is why Bridge of Spies is nominated in no less than six categories, one being Best Picture, for this year’s Oscars.
In Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, Tom Hanks negotiates the deal of his life as the New York lawyer James Donovan. Donovan has been recruited by CIA operatives during the Cold War to defend or to provide the illusion of a defense for the Russian spy Rudolf Abel. However, Donovan learns that by saving Abel, he may also save the life of a U.S pilot captured by the Soviet Union.
The one nomination worth speaking of, besides the one for Best Picture of course, is Mark Rylance’s nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Rylance plays the character of the not-so-Russian Russian spy Abel, and his performance is nothing short of noteworthy. He portrays an untypical spy, meaning the lack of an I got a big bad secret-attitude and bad boy-behavior, which I find refreshing. His nonchalant approach and calm demeanor towards the fact that he may be sentenced to death, brings new dimensions to the definition of a Hollywood spy, and let’s be honest – who doesn’t appreciate a little more depth in this area. So perhaps it’s not as much Rylance’s performance, which is very much a top-noch performance, I love, but the character that he portrays.
However, if we turn our direction toward the performance of Hanks, I don’t have any meaningful or particularly interesting things to write. Hanks was of course skilled in portraying his character, I mean, of course he was, he’s Tom Hanks. But that’s just it. He didn’t deliver any noteworthy performance that separate this performance from that of any other performance of his during his career, which to me is a damn shame.
But in general, I did enjoy Bridge of Spies. I fell for the connection made between two people sitting on opposite sides of the table, but somehow still sitting next to each other. In this aspect, the titel of the movie is spot on. And even though the performances, storyline, direction, and probably also Music and Manuscript, was spot on, I’ll only give the film a 4/5 Oscars. Not because the movie wasn’t good, because it was, I simply needed a little something more, to bring home that last one. Now the question is, if this movie can hold its own against films like The Danish Girl, The Big Short and The Revenant?