At the height of the Cold War, there was nothing the Americans feared more than the Soviet Union. Propaganda urging citizens to report suspected Commies, to stop the spread of the Red Menace only spurred on this fear and hatred. Communist sympathisers were the scorn of society and it was into this atmosphere that insurance lawyer James Donovan (Hanks) was asked to defend a suspected Soviet spy Rudolf Abel (Rylance)
It was meant to be an open and shut show-case but Donovan was a just and righteous man who took his job seriously and so defended his client with the same expertise and compassion he would any client. Naturally, this did not go down well with everyone, especially Donovan’s fellow citizens and he and his family became targets of the ignorant and bigoted within his community.
When an American U2 spy plane pilot is captured by the Soviets, the situation changes and Donovan is left to negotiate an exchange….. the Soviet spy for the American pilot.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, this movie has an old-fashioned spy thriller feel to it. It is stylish and precise, nuanced and subtle with an almost film noir feeling in moments. The script is tight and, given the subject matter, you never quite know what will happen next. Donovan finds himself in some truly dangerous situations but handles them with a calmness that must have hidden a pounding heart within his chest.
Donovan is a really good guy and Hanks is the perfect fit for the role. Had another actor been cast, I feel the movie would have lost a lot of its impact because Hanks has a rare talent….. a commanding presence coupled with a genuine soft heart and good nature. He is utterly believable as a man who would stand against society for what is right and just. And this is exactly what Donovan does.
This movie is a must see for any spy thriller fans. It is a tense, taut thriller from the opening scene to the closing credits. It is also an excellent choice for anyone just wanting to sink into a good movie for a few hours. Hanks is sure to receive an Oscar nod for this movie and it should snag a best picture nod as well. Definitely worth a trip to the cinema.
Love Flick xx
Director : Steven Spielberg
Starring : Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Alan Alda, Amy Ryan, Wes McGee, Edward James Hyland, Jor Forbich, Sebastian Koch
Running Time : 141 minutes
Release Date : In Cinemas Now