Oscars nominations: A good 6 (Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Mark Rylance, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Achievement in Production Design, and Best Original Screenplay)

Synopsis: At the height of the Cold War, insurance lawyer James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) is requested to take on his first criminal case in years. It is tricky as he is asked to defend an alleged spy named Rudolf Abel (Mark Rylance). Donovan must then head to East Germany to negotiate a prisoner exchange between Abel and downed American spy-plane pilot Francis G. Powers (Austin Stowell). (For the full review, look here.)

How many Oscars is it going to win: Mark Rylance has the best shot here for an award. He has one of those supporting roles that surprisingly go on to define the whole movie and is its most memorable part (like Judy Dench’s cameo in Shakespeare in Love). Rylance’s subtlety, coolness, and humor added a lot to the film and helped changed the tone so it felt more like a Cohen’s brother movie (who wrote the screenplay) than a Spielberg film. It, however, won’t win any other awards because this is a very low-key Spielberg picture; better films of his have already been richly rewarded, and there are other contenders for the awards that are more impressive (such as the screenplay of Inside Out or the sound design of Mad Max:Fury Road).

Will you enjoy this contender: I would describe this as a movie you watch with your dad. It provides low-level amusements; it is funny, it brings to life an interesting point of history, there is a lot of great acting on display. It is still one of Spielberg’s more forgettable films and can’t be described as a “must-see”. Good for a Sunday night in with your parents.


Stefan Garcia
Zerothreetwo’s resident movie buff extraordinaire. Sober reflections on movies and today’s culture. Stay tuned for a new movie review almost every Friday.
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