Sup­port act stars in Cold War spy saga

The Tribune (NZ) - - MOVIES -

Set in frigid snowy New York and Ger­many this movie epit­o­mises the Cold War The long chilly spy drama cap­tures a mo­ment in 1960 when the Sovi­ets, East Ger­mans and Amer­i­cans were snarling at each other. Times don’t re­ally change.

Af­ter Amer­i­can U2 spy plane pi­lot Gary Pow­ers was shot down over Rus­sia, the deal was that he be swapped for Soviet spy Ru­dolf Abel. The film is named af­ter the Glienicke Bridge in Ger­many where the ex­change was made.

En­ter Tom Hanks, in his first role since Sav­ing Mr Banks two years ago. He plays James Dono­van, an in­sur­ance at­tor­ney with a con­science, cho­sen by the CIA to act as an in­ter­me­di­ary with the Sovi­ets.

Hanks is his com­pe­tent self, 59 these days, play­ing a lawyer with lib­eral val­ues who de­fies his coun­try­men to de­fend the spy. Even his wife and kids rail against him for it.

My hero though was English the­atre ac­tor Mark Ry­lance who plays the tac­i­turn Abel in an ex­cel­lent sup­port­ing role with his clipped, clever di­a­logue cour­tesy of the Coen broth­ers. His im­pas­sive fa­cial ex­pres­sion doesn’t change.

Spiel­berg could have asked his ac­tors to have more re­al­is­tic Ger­man and Rus­sian ac­cents and the crowd, train and mil­i­tary scenes tended to be over-acted.

Ac­tor Mark Ry­lance, cen­tre, plays im­pas­sive Rus­sian spy Ru­dolf Abel along­side Tom Hanks in Steven Speiberg’s Bridge of Spies.

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