My wife and I had the pleasure of seeing Bridge of Spies last night. As this post title notes, it is truly a masterful work of art. Subtle, yet compelling, the movie depicts Cold War era intrigue and fears in an entertaining true story.
Mark Rylance’s performance as Soviet spy Rudolf Abel was magnificent! Depicting anything but the typical demeanor, personality, and wit of a spy, his soft-spoken performance literally steals the movie. Frankly, if there is any justice in the world he should win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
Tom Hanks and Amy Ryan both provide top-notch performances and the entire cast fits the bill perfectly. Mr. Hanks is certainly in his element in this film and presents a thoughtful counterbalance to the more hostile characters who are only out for blood.
What really struck this viewer were the fear-based similarities between 1957 and today. Back then it was constant alarm and trepidation over Soviet spies, communists, and nukes. Today, it is a fear of both internal and external extremists lurking around every corner. Either way, the parallels are quite spooky.
As a result of this factor and the superior performance by Mark Rylance, you may find yourself empathizing with Mr. Abel, as the justice system seems hellbent to put him to death, whether or not our Constitution was properly followed and whether or not he might present an opportunity as a bargaining chip. Don’t these scenarios sound vaguely familiar?
Such introspective political notions may not have been the original intent of the director Steven Spielberg, but you cannot help but sense it as the film progresses. Bridge of Spies will leave you questioning right versus wrong in ways you may not have anticipated. And if that is not the mark of a great motion picture, then I don’t know what is. Enjoy this fine film.