Tuesday, October 13, 2015

A Reel Preview: Everything You Need To Know About BRIDGE OF SPIES

Steven Spielberg, one of the most influential directors of our time, returns to the big screen this weekend for the first time since 2012 with his new spy-thriller, BRIDGE OF SPIES. Here is everything you need to know about this highly-anticipated film.

What is this about? – Based on true events, a Brooklyn real-estate lawyer is thrust into the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union when he is tasked with negotiating the release of a pilot; whose U-2 spy plane was shot down.

Who is behind this? – As mentioned, legendary director Steven Spielberg (JAWS, E.T., RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, SCHINDLER’S LIST, SAVING PRIVATE RYAN) is directing. The script was written by Matt Charman, along with Joel and Ethan Coen; often referred to as the Coen Brothers…the directing team of siblings responsible for THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998), FARGO (1996), O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU? (2000), and NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007).

Who are the actors? – The role of James B. Donovan, the Brooklyn lawyer who feels over his head in his task, is played by Tom Hanks, who has won Oscars for FORREST GUMP (1993) and PHILADELPHIA (1994). Hanks is joined by Amy Ryan, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2007 for GONE BABY GONE, and has also appeared in CHANGELING (2008), and last year’s BIRDMAN. Also tagging along are Mark Rylance and Alan Alda.

Random and Interesting Facts – This is the first Spielberg film to not be scored by John Williams since THE COLOR PURPLE (1985) * The score will be provided by Thomas Newman (SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION, SKYFALL) * This is the fourth time Hanks and Spielberg have worked together; SAVING PRIVATE RYAN (1998), CATCH ME IF YOU CAN (2002), and THE TERMINAL (2004) * This is Spielberg’s 27th feature film, and his first since LINCOLN in 2012 * Spielberg served as Executive Producer for the Coen Brothers’ TRUE GRIT in 2010, making BRIDGE OF SPIES their second collaboration together * Many scenes for the film were shot in the actual location where the real-life events took place *

What to expect? – Ever since 1993, the Spielberg that many of us grew up with, the one who played with kids and aliens and sharks and fist-fighting archeologists, transformed overnight and became a serious filmmaker, one that would explore the ins and outs of war and conflict. The change is still felt to this day, but that doesn’t mean the storytelling has suffered. Despite the large landscapes that the stories of war tend to take place in, Spielberg has always managed to find the human side of it, and specifically, the everyday-person who is caught in a conflict that they would rather have no parts of. It’s a theme that Spielberg doesn’t seem to be tiring of, as that’s where BRIDGE OF SPIES seems to be headed. Maybe Spielberg isn’t quite done exploring that theme, and that makes this film a very interesting venture. Having Tom Hanks in the lead role is a big plus, and the script by the Coen Brothers is sure to crackle. BRIDGE OF SPIES has all the potential to be a major notch in Spielberg’s axe.


BRIDGE OF SPIES opens October 16th.



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