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.
Based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s sophomore novel, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close tells the story of nine-year-old Oskar Schell, whose beloved father was killed in the 9/11 attacks. Young Oskar finds a strange key that was left behind by his dad, and he takes it upon himself to journey throughout New York City to find out what it unlocks.
I’m currently reading this book and have to say that the Oskar in my head while reading does not exactly match the Oskar in this trailer. Though the character’s precociousness is consistent, I don’t get the impression that Trailer Oskar would make the same fart references that Book Oskar does. And who doesn’t love a good fart reference? Still, I’m looking forward to this film, which features an impressive cast, including Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, James Gandolfini, John Goodman, Viola Davis, Max von Sydow, and Jeffrey Wright. Teen Jeopardy! winner Thomas Horn makes his acting debut as Oskar. The film is directed by three-time Oscar nominee Stephen Daldry (The Reader, The Hours, Billy Elliot).
Foer’s first novel, Everything Is Illuminated, was made into a 2005 Liev Schreiber-directed film starring Elijah Wood. Foer was just 25 years old when the book was published in 2002. What were you doing when you were 25?