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The Standing Man

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By: Jonathon Potochnic


A review of Bridge of Spies

When it comes to espionage thrillers, the genre was thought to have died decades ago. Fortunately, I was proven wrong. For some strange reason I thought that Tom Hanks’s growing age was going to negatively affect the value of his films. I have no idea why I ever thought this was an acceptable opinion. When you think of a man such as Tom Hanks, it’s hard to understand how someone can consistently fire off movies that are touching, funny, innovative, and reflective of Hanks’s charismatic persona in film.

Hanks’ funny, innovative and charismatic persona shines in this film. Anytime you ask someone what their favorite Tom Hanks movie is, you will receive a different answer. Movies like Big label him as a great comic, Forrest Gump shows his adaptable acting experience (and his ability to run), in Saving Private Ryan we saw a powerful lead in a test of the human condition, and his incredible endurance in Cast Away. In this film the man is a quiet but strong man converting his struggles into a confident stride as he walks.

Tom Hanks fills the shoes of a family man and insurance lawyer during the height of the Cold War. Interestingly, his image in the beautifully shot film (with some thanks to Steven Spielberg) he is portrayed similarly in style to his image in Road to Perdition. Powerful and witty, the dialogue is one the best in recent time offering genuine humor and underlying empathetic intelligence supplied by both Hanks and Mark Rylance. Rylance gives us some impactful words as well, even though they’re mainly used to reflect the nature of Hanks’s brilliant lawyer role James Donovan. This is just one of the many strengths of the film.

The team behind the movie, like briefly described above, made some beautiful pictures. The story and acting are exactly what you would expect from a motion picture featuring this pedigree of actor. However, I don’t like some of the occasional problems in the motion picture. The story progression of some characters leaves several developments in the movie unclear. While it is somewhat expected that the movement of the camera is slower given the genre, there is less development in this area.

Overall this is a premiere classic of drama, and another worthy nod to Hanks’s impressive acting. The problems were almost entirely over-shadowed by the detailed work and craftsmanship of Bridge of Spies. Few movies match the ironic outcomes plots that Bridge of Spies boasts. It easily has the ability to run for an Oscar, and in my opinion a pretty straight shot so far to be awarded one.

Cinematography Movement Sound Acting Story Overall
43/4 4 4 5 43/4 41/2 out of 5


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The Student News Site of Arsenal Technical High School
The Standing Man