This is one of Steven Spielberg’s greatest films which details the story of what really happened in getting Francis Gary Powers released from the Soviet Union after his spy plane went down in 1960 during the height of the Cold War. This however is really the story of insurance lawyer, James B. Donovan, who was asked by his law firm, who in turn was doing a favor for the CIA, to defend the Soviet spy, Rudolf Abel and the consequences of what this action did to his professional and personal life. Beautifully written by Matt Charman and Ethan Cohen & Joel Cohen with an extraordinary cast of actors lead by Tom Hanks as James Donovan and the brilliant Mark Rylance as Rudolf Abel who I believe will win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, he’s that good. Amy Ryan as Mary Donovan, James Donovan’s wife, Alan Alda as his boss and Austin Stowell as Francis Gary Powers are only a few of the exceptional cast of actors assembled here. Beautifully produced and photographed in New York and Poland (doubling for Berlin of 1960), it evokes a time that I remember when I was a small child. Virtually everyone in this film could be nominated for the Academy Award and rightly so. Steven Spielberg is only getting better as he gets older and would be fully deserving if he won his third Oscar as Best Director and the same goes for Tom Hanks, delivering another sterling performance. A true life story that is also wildly entertaining, I know I’m going to want to see this extraordinary piece of filmmaking more than once.
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