Any year we get a film from Steven Spielberg is a good year for movies. 50 years from now people will talk about the all-time greats, Kubrick, Hitchcock, Scorsese and yes, Spielberg. We will be able to tell future generations that we were alive when they were making/releasing films.
When I think about Spielberg’s recent films, whether it be Catch Me If You Can or War Horse or Lincoln or War of The Worlds, I think about great movies, period. Then you think about the history of film and something dawns on you. The guy who pretty much invented the summer blockbuster is still making movies today. Jaws, E.T., Jurassic Park, this guy is currently making movies and guess what, they are still great (Lincoln is phenomenal). We are lucky to be living in a day when Spielberg is making movies and this leads us to Bridge of Spies.
Bridge of Spies is a (and I’m quoting Wikipedia) historical biography drama military-political action cold war-spy thriller. That’s amazing that the editors of the page decided that that would be the film’s “genre.” Watching the trailer you can’t really disagree with them. It looks as though the movie has a little bit of everything.
The film is tells the story of James B. Donovan, played by Tom Hanks. Donavan is an American lawyer who is called upon to negotiate the trade of a Russian spy for the life of an American pilot. Knowing that, the trailer makes sense and sets up the players. We see a young pilot commit to a mission of secrecy who is then shot down. We see a government employee discovered to be a Russian spy. We then meet Donovan who questions what his government is asking him to do.
There is a lot to like in this trailer. The plot looks to be very interesting in its own right, but Spielberg and company have always looked to do more than just a historical reenactment. Look at something like Munich. Yes there was a movie about an Israeli team going about assassinating Palestinian threats. Then the film is released to the public and the discussion starts. Not only was there commentary on the definition of what a terrorist is, but there is subtext about nationalism and finding your place amongst your people.
I think we are going to have a similar situation with Bridge of Spies. In the trailer we get a handful of lines that show what I think the film is really about. Its about American values. Donovan was threatened because it looked like he was defending a Russian spy, but he felt as though everyone has a shot at a fair defense. Something special is going to be delivered with Bridge of Spies. Not only is it going to be thrilling to learn about a historical event but I think the production is going to give us some big themes to chew on and mull over.
If you weren’t anticipating Bridge of Spies I hope you are now. Need another reason? Not only is the movie directed by Spielberg and starring Hanks, but Joel & Ethan Coen have a screenplay credit. Yes, Steven Spielberg is directing Tom Hanks from a screenplay by the Coen brothers. Get excited.
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