A new film from Steven Spielberg is here, surprisingly without the usual buzz. While his most recent films Lincoln and War Horse were long tipped to feature in the Oscar nominees, and released for Christmas or in January, Bridge of Spies has been smoothly unveiled without fuss in October. That’s not to say that it won’t end up being a player again this year, but it is refreshing to just watch the film without those added expectations.
What is striking throughout The Bridge of Spies is the confidence in the craftsmanship – the polished competency present in every frame. The veteran Spielberg, directing his 29th feature film across five decades, is a master of the cinematic medium. One can’t deny that this is a maturely constructed and intelligently conceived film. Though features like Schindler’s List, Minority Report and Munich suggest otherwise, Spielberg’s films often adhere to conventions and stereotype and serve as widely consumable crowd-pleasers. Bridge of Spies, a true-life Cold War historical drama of shady allegiance and daring espionage, is one such film. It tells a compelling American story starring one of American’s heroes of the screen, Mr. Tom Hanks.