Monday, February 22, 2016

Bridge of Spies

Saturday night at Sea Ranch, Phil, Marlene, Sharon and I watched Bridge of Spies. This is part of our efforts to see all of the Oscar nominated films before the awards show.

The film was directed by Steven Spielberg. The screenplay was written by Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, and Joel Coen. It stars Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda.

The film is nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (for Rylance), Best Original Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Production Design and Best Sound Mixing.

The film tells the story of James Donovan, an American lawyer, who is recruited to defend arrested Soviet spy Rudolf Abel in court during the cold war. Donovan is then tapped to help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers. In real life, Donovan went on to negotiate the 1962 release and return of 1,113 prisoners held by Cuba after the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion.

I enjoyed this movie a lot. It is a well told true story with a solid performance by Tom Hanks. I have now seen all eight of the films nominated for best picture. Of the eight, I might rank Bridge of Spies as high as my second favorite behind Spotlight. I am perplexed by Rylance's nomination for best supporting actor; there is no way that he is a serious contender for the award.

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