This wonderful film features an extraordinary performance by Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel. He’s the Russian KGB spy who was exchanged for U-2 pilot Gary Powers in 1962.
Cold War Berlin and the tension between the USSR and the USA are beautifully recreated. Tom Hanks is terrific as James Donovan, the lawyer who represented Abel and negotiated the prisoner exchange.
The days when the Berlin Wall was going up are realistically portrayed and there’s as much tension and drama as in any movie this year.
Steven Spielberg is on top form and all 140 minutes feel essential to the plot.
I knew exactly what would happen and I was still surprised by how very compelling this is to watch.
There are issues. Changes are made and I don’t see how they improve on the true story. But I am not Spielberg nor the Coens, who wrote this and I am sure they all have their reasons.
It’s a must see film. If you don’t know anything about the case, the court, office and negotiation scenes will wow you even more than they moved me.
Everyone at the Stratford East Picturehouse loved it and it will appeal to young and old, equally. New life is brought to the spy story and the words feel real and true.
Mark Rylance should get an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Hanks and Speilberg should both win big too, but “The Martian” might pip them to the gold statues.
I cannot think when I enjoyed watching a film so much. It’s just hugely entertaining. My Very Intelligent Friend and I discussed it, at length and the ideas and images are still buzzing around in my head. See it. You’ll love it.