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Bridge of Spies

Lawyer James Donovan from Brooklyn is suddenly involved in world-politics when he gets a mission assignment from the CIA.


BRIDGE OF SPIES is a solid Cold War thriller: told confidently, well-cast, and with an imperceptible tension that builds. It begins in 1957. Russian spy Rudolf Abel (a fantastic Mark Rylance) is discovered and arrested in the US. His assigned council is insurance lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks, equally good) who doesn’t know much about political cases but is persistent when it comes to the trial. Donovan is completely invested though no one expects that of him and manages to prevent a death sentence. Luck is on their side, because the USSR arrested pilot spy Gary Powers and the US now have the leverage for an agent trade-off. Since the state doesn’t want to officially take part, Donovan is sent to east Berlin quasi-privately to negotiate a speedy deal. He lands in an ice-cold and politically complex post-war city with a wall just about to be built.
BRIDGE OF SPIES has mysterious men in hats, encrypted messages, hot pursuits, and a spectacularly staged plane take-down. What is actually thrilling are the deals and counter-deals wherein both sides try to protect themselves and pull a fast one on their enemy. Tom Hanks manages to be both cunning and honorable. The director of BRIDGE OF SPIES is Steven Spielberg and the Coen Brothers collaborated on the screenplay. Their trademarks are all over the film. BRIDGE OF SPIES is filled with big gestures and was clearly a lot of work. At the center of it are Donovan and Abel, two upstanding men who want to do the best for their country. At the same time, most characters have something eccentric and Coen-like about them. The individual scenes are made with a love for (historically accurate) detail and laconic wit. Donovan keeps asking Abel if he’s worried and he dryly replies “would that help?”

Hendrike Bake

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Original title: Bridge of Spies
USA 2015, 142 min
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director: Steven Spielberg
Author: Matt Charman, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Music: Thomas Newman
Distributor: Fox Deutschland
Cast: Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan
FSK: 12
Release: 26.11.2015


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