Anisha Koilpillai, staff Writer
Bridge of Spies is yet another contender for Best Picture in this year’s Oscar race. The Cold War era piece was definitely one of my favorite films of 2015, and thus I don’t find it surprising that the Academy decided to place this movie amongst the big dogs.
Bridge of Spies proves that Steven Spielberg is still capable of making quality films after the large-scale success of Lincoln.
Using the acting talents of Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance, the latter of whom has received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his work in this film, Spielberg and co. created magic in order to portray the true story the film embodies. As a huge film nerd, there are so many things that I could spend endless amounts of time discussing. I’ll briefly discuss a few of the most notable points of the film.
Tom Hanks is an incredible actor. Love him or hate him, his work in these dramatic pieces definitely accumulates to some of his best work. Hanks’ portrayal as attorney James B. Donovan, a ruthless negotiator, was definitely a truly amazing one, which probably should’ve earned him a nomination. Whatever preparation he went through to prepare for this role paid off, as everyone in the theater I was in was buzzing about with how stubborn Hanks’ character was, but how that stubbornness paid off. Overall, he gave a very convincing performance, and I believe that the casting choice was an excellent one for that role.
The score, even without Spielberg’s usual companion John Williams, was truly a beautiful one. Thomas Newman maintained the style that John Williams would usually use in Spielberg’s more dramatic films, such as Lincoln and Schindler’s List. As someone who has been a musician for 15 years, the only thing that distinguished this as a Thomas Newman score was the fact that I had to constantly remind myself that John Williams was unavailable to score this film. Now, that is not to mark on Newman’s originality, as I believe that he is an amazing composer. Take a listen to the Shawshank Redemption sound track if you don’t believe me. However, the fact that Newman was able to accommodate to Williams’, and really Spielberg’s, vision for this movie definitely left a lasting impression on me as both a musician and a moviegoer.
Finally, the production design was astounding. The difference between Cold War era New York, West Berlin, and East Berlin were striking historically, and this carried over into the film. No wonder the budget for this film was $40 million and has credited 9 different production companies. Production design is essentially movie art, and even writing thus article months after experiencing the film, I am still in awe of how a movie can make the set look so realistic. It made me believe that I had been thrusted back into the beginning of the Cold War.
Bridge of Spies, in my opinion, was definitely an artistic film that did not have the intention of being an artistic film. What I mean is that so much effort was put into this movie, that sometimes the effects of that overshadow the actual plot. This isn’t a bad thing to me, however. I think that this shows that Spielberg and co. really covered all of their bases. This production teams effort alone was definitely worthy of an Oscar nomination, and it has me curious to see if it will surprise everyone by winning Best Picture.
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons