Last week, the wife and I were able to get out and see a “serious” and “grown-up” movie, Bridge of Spies, without our kids and without listening to other people’s either. We were excited to see this movie because the trailer looked amazing and it is a movie that stars Tom Hanks and is directed by Steven Spielberg.
As we settled into our seats “kids free,” we sat back and enjoyed the quiet. The house went dark, and from the opening scenes we were transported into early 1960’s New York where every inch on the screen was dressed perfectly both in props and costumes. Tom Hanks plays real life attorney James B. Donovan. He is “volunteered” to represent a Russian spy, Rudolf Abel, wonderfully played by Mark Rylance. As good as Hanks is in this movie, every scene that Rylance is in, he steals and the film crackles in it’s quiet intensity. The movie is really two different films. The first film takes place in the U.S. and focuses on the Donovan/Abel relationship after the arrest and through his incarceration. The second half of the movie revolves around the shooting down of our U-2 spy plane, in an amazing scene, that is so exciting I wished it had lasted longer, but after we see U.S. pilot Gary Powers played dimly by Austin Stowell, tortured in a Russian prison, Donovan is sent by the CIA to negotiate his release by trading Abel for Powers.
The movie is interesting and completely riveting throughout. It is also filled with more funny moments than we were expecting. We also get to see the building of the Berlin wall, and learn some really interesting history that took place between the East German government, the Russians and the our own intelligence agencies operating on foreign soil.
As you might expect the look of the film, the music and the every role in the movie is perfect. The best part is knowing that because the film is a historical period piece and has no dinosaurs, laser beams or superheroes, the chances of hearing little kids, unwanted movie commentators or people who like to use the movies as an excuse to Instagram, or text their friends, is pretty slim.
So hire a sitter, get a nice dinner and head to the multiplex to experience this wonderful end of year surprise. Some movies are fine on Netflix, some, like this one, deserve to be seen on the biggest screen, with an audience of fellow adults, that you can.
“Bridge of Spies is one of the best movies of the year and will surely be rewarded come Oscar time.