BRIDGE OF SPIES

If you remember the 1950’s or are a student of history, you will find “The Bridge of Spies an excellent way to spend a couple of hours. Spielberg and Hanks have teamed up with the Coen brothers to bring another piece of classic history to the big screen. If you are looking for a shoot-em up, blow-em up movie look elsewhere. “The Bridge of Spies” underscores the tensions that were the present during the Cold War decades of the 1950’s and 1960’s.

“The Bridge of Spies,” a dramatic thriller, is the story of a Brooklyn Insurance Attorney James Donovan (Tom Hanks) who finds himself thrust into the center of the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union when the CIA sends him to negotiate the exchange of captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers (Austin Stowell) for convicted Soviet Spy Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) in the late 1950’s. Academy Award® Winner Tom Hanks carries this movie with such aplomb that is a joy to watch him in this mature, intelligent film. Hanks have developed into one of the greatest actors of our time.

Screenwriters Matt Charman and Academy Award® Winners Ethan Coen & Joel Coen have woven this remarkable experience in Donovan’s life into a story inspired by true events.

Directed by Academy Award®-winning director Steven Spielberg, “The Bridge of Spies” displays Spielberg’s mastery of his art. The director of “Lincoln,” “Jurassic Park,” and “Jaws” has provided us with another winner.

I forgot how truly ugly the furniture and clothes were in the late 1950’s. This movie brought it all back but the set designers did an excellent job portraying the decade. The sets and costumes are perfect.

I viewed this movie Monday night in St. Louis at the Landmark’s Hi-Pointe theatre. The audience loudly applauded when the film ended. I couldn’t find anyone who didn’t use the term “excellent” or “great” to describe the film. People wanted to stand around and talk about the film when it was over instead of rushing out to their cars. I feel several Academy Award nominations are imminent for “Bridge of Spies” including best picture, best actor, best director and best screenplay.

“The Bridge of Spies” opens today at Kerasote’s Jerseyville Stadium Theatre and Friday at AMC Showplace Edwardsville 12 and AMC Eastgate Showplace 6.

A few weeks ago I challenged viewers to tell me who had the best popcorn. Kerasote’s Jerseyville Stadium Theatre won hands down.

The Telegraph’s contributing movie critic Mary Cox lives in Wood River and is a member of the St. Louis Film Critics Association, who also occasionally writes about film-related topics, studied film at the University of California, Los Angeles, and worked in L.A. with various directors and industry professionals. She can be reached at mlcwriter@charter.net.