Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks collaborate again with Bridge of Spies, a historical spy-thriller. The original screenplay was written by Matt Charman with revisions by Ethan and Joel Coen. Well casted, the film features, aside of Tom Hanks in the leading role, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda.
Bridge of Spies is based on real events that took place during the height of the Cold War. It involved the 1960's U-2 Incident in which attorney James B. Donovan (Hanks), unofficially representing the US government, negotiated the release of captured U-2 spy pilot Francis Gary Powers in exchange for Rudolf Abel, a Soviet KGB operator who was arrested and convicted for spying in the USA a few years earlier.
Spielberg, a master filmmaker, creates a period piece that is rich and engaging. Art direction is terrific as are the camera work and editing. Hanks slides into his role with ease; his supporting cast complementing the story. Special kudos to Mark Rylance as the Soviet spy, projecting much credibility.
The film feels like an immediate classic. My only dislikes include occasional drama-heavy music, and sublime unnecessary notions that called too much attention to themselves, such as the spy, and later on his attorney turned negotiator, having a cold... A little heavy-handled yet still noteworthy is a scene at the later part of the film which reminds us, the audience, the ease with which we take our freedom for granted. It is also interesting to note that the film happened to be released around the same time that the spy Jonathan Pollard was paroled after spending 30 years in jail.