Believe it or not, but the last time that director Steven Spielberg worked with Tom Hanks, it was The Terminal in 2004. For a team that brought us some of the best modern cinema with Saving Private Ryan and Catch Me If You Can, it seems like wasted potential, even if both have done pretty well for themselves in the 11 years between projects. However, it looks like they're back with a Cold War thriller called Bridge of Spies that has both of them ready to play hard ball with history and present another intense war film. If the first trailer is any indication of what's to come, it may easily rank among the director and the actor's best work.
In the past few years, I have had a conflicted relationship with Spielberg. Long time readers will likely know about how much I disliked Lincoln or more specifically the praise heaped upon Daniel Day Lewis. Yet, there isn't any faulting a director whose made a niche in his career of chronicling American history from the early days with Amistad and The Color Purple to more contemporary fare like E.T. and The Terminal. He remains one of the most visually distinct directors and it makes plenty of sense why anyone would be excited for a new film every time it comes out. He embodies pure cinema and is so consistently good that it's a wonder that he hasn't fallen into obscurity with his breakout film Jaws turning 40 this past week.
However, the one thing that is getting me very excited is the return of Hanks and Spielberg. For a duo that have only worked together three times prior, they have such immediate chemistry and embody the All-American vibe that drives Spielberg's style. They have produced countless projects together, but it's watching Hanks react to the wonderment that really feels special. Also, tagging along Joel and Ethan Coen on the script is equally enticing, even if their behind the scenes work hasn't been extraordinary (See: Unbroken). The only thing that is unfortunately missing is Spielberg's longer collaborator John Williams, who has made almost every film of his into their own iconic pieces of music. He is replaced with Thomas Newman, which will be an interesting ride.
Check out the trailer below:
Looks pretty good. Here is the plot description according to IMDb:
An American lawyer is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union.
It could just be the music, but this does feel like one of the more intense films from the director's canon. Seeing as he has a strong track record with making war films, this could easily be among the more interesting. There hasn't been too much focus on the Cold War and the various scenes depicting the curtain being pulled back create an espionage drama that is taught with suspense. I am unsure what is going to happy, but I care because everything about the film seems well done. This is the rallying cry that you'd come to expect from a director of his stature.
There's also a great chance that we'll be talking about this film more often when it finally comes out. It seems impossible not to be. Even then, it would be interesting to see if this will be one of the films that can give Spielberg another Best Picture win or if it can finally land Hanks another Oscar nomination, of which he hasn't received since Cast Away. Either way, this looks to be another great film in a week of great trailers. The question now is if he can stick the landing and make another classic worthy of his stature.