Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have collaborated on acclaimed projects that have spotlighted various facets of U.S. history (most recently with 2015’s Bridge of Spies), and now they’re back to spotlight the Washington Post’s battle to publish the Pentagon Papers in 1971. This film, which will probably make a wonderful bookend to the cinematic classic All The President’s Men, features Tom Hanks as Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee andMeryl Streep as the newspaper’s publisher Katharine Graham.
The trailer spotlights the various pressures Graham and the newspaper faced, as holding the U.S. government accountable may have seriously crippled or ended the Washington Post. Movies like Spotlight, State of Play, and hopefully The Post focus on the continuing importance of solid journalism, and it’s a safe bet that this movie will be remembered come Oscar nominations time. Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!
The Post,co-starring Bradley Whitford and Sarah Paulson, hits theaters December 22.
When Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece Jaws came out in 1975 the movie put a bit of fear into the hearts and minds of beachgoing people. Still to this day many movie lovers refuse to dip their feet into ocean because of the film’s nightmarish story. Spielberg told us he kind of feels the fear of sharks started beforeJaws and goes to say that he and Jaws author Peter Benchley just played on that feeling. The director, however, admits that he does love sharks! (Click on the media bar below to hear Steven Spielberg)
Tom Hanks has been entertaining the world for over three decades. His first role was back in 1981 in the horror flick He Knows You’re Alone. Since then, he has gone on to star in several beloved movies including Big,Splash, Saving Private Ryan, Forrest Gump and many more. Hanks has won numerous awards, including two Academy Awards, and he has definitely had one of the most distinguished careers in Hollywood history.
We spoke to Tom Hanks and asked him if he remembers when he first wanted to become an actor. (Click on the media bar below to hear Tom Hanks)
Tom Hanks currently stars in Clint Eastwood’sSully.
We’ve seen director Steven Spielberg use his platform as one of the most respected auteurs in Hollywood to not only create great adventures and entertainment, but also to inform, inspire and showcase moving stories about the human spirit and great character over the years. With Bridge of Spies, Spielberg is delving into history with a story loosely based upon the ’50s cold war era paranoia with spies and the men of character who kept the world at peace amidst great risk to themselves.
For this film, Spielberg reunites with Tom Hanks, who has portrayed men of great character in some of the director’s other flicks like Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can and The Terminal. Hanks is Jim Donovan, a smooth talking stickler for the facts insurance lawyer, who ends up being asked to provide a defense for the newly arrested Russian spy Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance) after the government steps back to show no signs that a fair defense is not given. Initially reluctant, Hanks is swayed with the idea that it is his patriotic duty to defend the rights of the constitution by his boss (Alan Alda) and the government, even in the eyes of disdain from his peers and the general public who have already tried Abel in the court of public opinion.
As the film opens, Abel, who has been living as an artist in America, is captured after receiving intelligence. Rylance portrays Abel in an understated manner, a man unfazed in the midst of what is facing him, but unwilling to break. He too is a man of great character, who shrewdly sizes up Donovan in the same manner, agreeing to take him on as legal counsel. A key moment in the film comes when Abel calls Donovan, who is plotting out an appeal for Abel, “the standing man,” telling him the story of a family friend Abel initially felt was unremarkable, who continued to stand amidst the pummeling provided by soldiers who invaded his home as a youth.
While Hanks is no doubt the star of the film and likely to earn another Oscar nomination, do not be surprised to see Rylance’s name pop up during award season. His portrayal of Abel has bits of humor, understated strength and has the viewers inevitably liking what should on the surface be considered an enemy. A Best Supporting Actor nod seems like a possibility here.
The movie explores the lengths that Donovan will go to in order to defend what he believes in and not bowing when violence comes knocking on his door (or whizzing through his window as is the case in the film). He’s also a man of great foresight, understanding that Abel may have more value alive than dead, a point that comes to fruition when a young fighter pilot (Austin Stowell) is shot down in Russia and a message is sent through to Donovan that could lead to a possible trade.
While defending Abel was one thing, Donovan’s American loyalties and character are once again put to the test when the government calls upon him to negotiate the exchange of the fighter pilot Powers for Abel, but a few wrinkles pop up along the way, including the imprisonment of an American student (Will Rogers) in East Germany just as the wall has gone up. The lawyer is sent to a divided Berlin to negotiate the swap, unaware of who the players may truly be representing, unsure of the politics involved and all the while essentially entering enemy territory to do so with no assurances of safety.
The Bridge of Spies script penned by Matt Charman and the Coen Brothers is sharp, wrought with intensity at the key moments, offering bits of humor when needed and ultimately showing the power of the human spirit. Donovan’s homey and safe family life are contrasted with the danger he’ll soon face in Berlin where snipers are present, ready to pick off people attempting to scale the wall to freedom. It’s a high stakes game and one that the men of character — Donovan and later Abel — are willing to play. The stink eye glances are worth it all as Donovan is truly the “standing man” by the time all is said and done — an ordinary man who perseveres under extraordinary circumstances.
With Spielberg at the helm, you’re more that likely going to receive a quality film. But Bridge of Spies, with the inherently respected Hanks as the central character, could be regarded as one of the director’s best works of the 21st Century to date. Expect Hanks, Rylance, Spielberg and the film score of Thomas Newman to be on the shortlist of potential nominees come Oscar time.
The Steven Spielberg political thriller Bridge of Spies starring Tom Hanks is based on a true story of James B. Donovan, an American lawyer who’s hired by the CIA to rescue a U.S. pilot that’s detained in the Soviet Union. Hanks was 10 years old when the actual events took place and recalls the turbulent times between the two countries and how their rivalry directly influenced his generation. (Click on the media bar below to hear Tom Hanks talk about growing up America’s relationship with the “Iron Curtain”)
Tom Hanks is getting great reviews for his performance in Bridge of Spies in theaters now.