After a long absence (I know it's been only three years, but it feels longer), Spielberg is back with the outstanding, awards-worthy "Bridge of Spies." Gorgeously filmed at a pace that never once feels slow, it takes place during the Cold War when lawyer James Donovan (Tom Hanks), who typically represents clients in insurance matters, is chosen to represent Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance), a Soviet spy being held captive in the U.S. In addition to the controversy and danger that his family ends up being in, the case comes to involve negotiating a trade so that an American pilot whose plane was shot down over the Soviet Union can return home safely.
Tom Hanks once again delivers an outstanding performance. Hanks is the kind of charismatic guy that you love in pretty much every movie he is in (I prefer to forget about "The Davinci Code" and "Charlie Wilson's War"). His performance in "Forrest Gump" is one of the greatest performances in cinema, one filled with such heart and emotion. His earlier work in "Big" is absolutely delightful, as he perfectly captured the spirit of a child trapped in an adult body. "Bridge of Spies" further showcases his ability to make each character he portrays instantly lovable and relatable. I hope he receives an Oscar nomination for this.
Another terrific (and, quite honestly, scene-stealing) performance in the film is from Mark Rylance. I have never heard of him before this film, but I expect to see him in more films. He sinks into the role of Rudolf Abel, and we forget this is even acting. He better be up for Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars this year.
"Bridge of Spies" tells a fascinating story that never feels slow and is extremely well-made. It is one of the year's best. If you're looking for quality storytelling, filmmaking, and acting, "Bridge of Spies" is for you.