Bridge of Spies (2015)

A very solid Spielberg film. Tom Hanks is great as always, but Mark Rylance really stole the show in all of his scenes.

Can’t shake the feeling the film was a bit…flat, though. Few characters really developed. The Donovan family life was pretty one-dimensional. I didn’t feel many characters were really feeling many ethical challenges; Donovan commits very early in the film to his ideals and never wavers from them once. I feel to some extent that Spielberg’s sentimentality works beautifully in his more children and family oriented films, but often feels grating in his more adult and literary films.

Some moments were also a bit painfully unsubtle (the kids climbing the American fence at the end, the two train bystander scenes). I thought some of Donovan’s speeches were a tad on the nose but perfectly acceptable, but sequences like the fence scene near the end did frustrate me a little.

Nonetheless, the film is expertly crafted, the performances are rock solid, and there are some really impressive shots. It’s definitely a good time. It’s just not as engaging as it could have been, at least in my eyes. If I wanted to watch a late-ear Spielberg film, I’d vastly prefer Lincoln.

I give it three fallen planes, and a burgeoning wall.


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