Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks first collaborated on the big screen in 1998 for the Oscar-winning World War II drama Saving Private Ryan. Since that film — which many still claim was robbed of the Best Picture statue that year — the director and actor have paired up twice more, for Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal in 2002 and 2004, respectively.
Now, more than a decade since their last project, Spielberg and Hanks are bringing another history lesson to movie theaters in Bridge of Spies, the true story of American lawyer James Donovan (Hanks) who must negotiate an exchange with the Soviet Union to ensure that a U.S. pilot makes it home safely during the Cold War. The film’s first trailer gave moviegoers a taste of what the story at hand may entail, but some new footage sheds even more light on what fans can expect.
DreamWorks has released the second North American trailer for Bridge of Spies (see above), and the film certainly has the bombast and dramatic tension one would expect from a Spielberg drama. The director has long had a fascination with history — treating it with equal parts reverence and depth — and this latest foray into the past looks to be no different, at least judging by the (gorgeously-shot, courtesy of Spielberg’s trusted cinematographer Janusz Kaminski) footage at hand.
The Bridge of Spies script — co-written by Joel and Ethan Coen as well as Matt Charman — appears to feature a nice balance; examining the personal struggle Hanks’ character finds himself dealing with in his new task, with the larger backdrop of the political tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union in the 1950s. The main character’s perspective is, of course, only half the story in films like this, but thus far it appears Bridge of Spies at least aspires to somewhat develop the conflict behind Donovan’s negotiation.
Hanks also appears to be in top form here. The two-time Oscar winner is no stranger to acclaimed performances, having delivered a pair of them as recently as 2013 (with Captain Phillips and Saving Mr. Banks), and Bridge of Spies could provide him with yet another chance to delve into this kind of politically charged period drama, with Spielberg at the helm no less. Naturally, it’s too soon to tell if this film will become a modern classic like Saving Private Ryan or fall into the more forgettable end of the Spielberg-Hanks catalog, but the signs thus far point to another winner.
Will you be seeing Bridge of Spies when it hits theaters next month? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments section below.
Bridge of Spies opens in U.S. theaters on October 16, 2015.
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