Bridge of Spies

By Pam - AV

March 11, 2016

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Bridge of Spies is an entertaining Cold War thriller, directed by Steven Spielburg, and starring Tom Hanks as attorney James B. Donovan, and Oscar winner Mark Rylance as Soviet spy Rudolf Abel.   It is a little known story of lawyer turned hostage negotiator.   Attorney Donovan has been tasked with defending Rudolf Abel against the charges of spying on the United States.   In spite of the fact the windows in his living room are shot out, he believes that Abel deserves a proper defense.   When the Soviets capture Gary Powers, the pilot of a U-2 U. S. spy plane, Donovan is asked to go to Berlin as a private citizen to negotiate a trade of Powers for Abel.   One of the strengths of the movie is the bond of mutual respect and common understanding that develops between Donovan and Able, during a time when trusting your enemy could get you killed.   There are several light hearted moments when Donovan asks if Abel is worried.  Stone-faced Abel replies, “Would it help?”   As usual, Tom Hanks’ performance does not disappoint.  He deftly plays a man who is part everyman, part genius and all around good guy.   This was my first exposure to Mark Ryland’s acting ability.  He is superb as Rudolf Abel – definitely an Oscar winning performance!

Overall Rating:  A

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