Bridge of Spies is a historical drama directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Matt Charman and the Coen brothers. It tells the story of American insurance lawyer James B. Donovan, who finds himself defending Rudolf Abel, a captured Soviet spy, in the hopes that giving him a fair trial in court will limit the U.S.S.R. from using his imprisonment as propaganda. Donovan and his family withstand brutal scrutiny by the American people for defending a Communist, and while Abel is still found guilty of all charges brought against him, Donovan is able to convince the judges to grant imprisonment instead of the death penalty. This eventually turns Abel into a bargaining chip for the US government to negotiate release of Francis Gary Powers, an American U2 spy plane pilot being held in Soviet Russia. And who would be the man assigned to carry out such a task? James B. Donovan.
Bridge of Spies has been nominated not only for Best Picture but also Best Supporting Actor (Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel) and Best Original Screenplay. As a history nerd, I really enjoyed this film. It’s a very well-written period piece that helps convey the widespread fear of Communism in America during the height of the Cold War. Scenes like the one where Hanks’ character Donovan returns home from work to find his son preparing for nuclear armageddon in the bathroom really drive this home. Continue reading Bridge of Spies