The Cold War sets the stage for Steven Spielberg’s 29th feature, Bridge of Spies, which had its world premiere Sunday night at the 53rd New York Film Festival. Based on a true story, Tom Hanks plays James Donovan, a Brooklyn insurance lawyer asked to defend Rudolf Abel (played eerily cool by Broadway veteran Mark Rylance), a Soviet spy in a trial that’s more for show than jurisprudence. Hesitantly taking on this role, the one-time criminal attorney Donovan is an Atticus Finch-like model for law as a guiding principle, despite the urgings from his colleagues—including the judge—to not put in full effort in his defense. Abel is a Soviet spy after all. His guilty verdict is a foregone conclusion, but it’s important that the US demonstrate a “fair” trial. Donovan will have none of it. He’s a good lawyer, and he will conduct himself as such, despite the threats set against him and his family.
After some high-profile Best Picture wins at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards, and AFI, Argo has come ever closer to solidifying its Oscar front-runner status following last night’s Producers Guild of America (PGA) Award win for Best Picture. The PGA Award is often a reliable indicator of the Best Picture winner at the Oscars. The twist here is that the Oscar winner for Best Picture typically also wins for Best Director, but, as has been repeatedly documented, Argo‘s director Ben Affleck was famously snubbed for a nomination. It’s extremely rare for a film to win Best Picture without its director being nominated. The last movie to achieve this was Driving Miss Daisy 23 years ago. It looks like we’re coming closer to repeating this feat in just a few short weeks.
Although Argo is deserving of the Best Picture honors it’s received to date, Affleck’s Oscar snub is perhaps the best thing to happen to the film. It seems that several awards bodies are quick to remind the Academy of its foolish decision to leave Affleck out of the race, and they’re doing it by awarding him and the movie at their own award shows. Had Affleck been nominated, I question whether the film would be receiving this same attention, especially when competing against other deserving films like Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Les Misérables, and Life of Pi.
So the question persists: If Argo wins Best Picture, who will win Best Director?
Is there any side profile more famous than Lincoln’s? The penny has nothing on this newly released poster for Steven Spielberg’s new release starring Daniel Day-Lewis. The actor seems ready to snatch his third Oscar for this one. The formula is there: fall release, true story, a historic and tragic figure, period piece, directed by Steven Spielberg.
The film also stars an amazing cast of veterans, including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, David Strathairn, James Spader, Jackie Earle Haley, John Hawkes, Walton Goggins, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln.
Lincoln opens November 16.
Belgian artist Georges Remi—under the pen name Hergé—introduced Tintin to the world in 1929. The beloved character who is a Belgian reporter sets out on a series of adventures with his dog Snowy and best pal Captain Haddock. Though the characters originally lived in a comic strip, throughout the years they were reproduced in a variety of media, including books, movies, TV, and theatre, and were translated into more than 50 languages. It seems the popular series is well known and loved in almost every part of the world—except America. But that’s soon to change.
As is by now widely known, legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg (director) and fellow Oscar-winner Peter Jackson (producer) will bring The Adventures of Tintin to US audiences starting this Wednesday, following the film’s initial bow in oversees markets, where the characters and stories first found success and praise. In this first of at least two films by the filmmaking duo, Tintin (Jamie Bell) and Haddock (Andy Serkis) set off on a quest to find a sunken ship that was commanded by Haddock’s ancestor. (Though Spielberg directs this first installment, it’s been reported that Jackson will sit in the director’s chair for the film’s follow-up effort.)