2016 Oscars Challenge: [31] “Bridge Of Spies” – Best Original Screenplay

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BRIDGE OF SPIES
Written by Matt Charman and Ethan Coen & Joel Coen


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FILM SYNOPSIS: In 1957, in the midst of the Cold War, New York insurance lawyer James Donovan is enlisted to provide a pro-bono defense for Rudolf Abel, who is accused of spying for the Russians. The CIA then sends Donovan to East Berlin to conduct precarious negotiations with the Soviets to exchange Abel for a recently captured U.S. Air Force pilot, Francis Gary Powers.


Steven Spielberg continues his historical drama string of films with “Bridge Of Spies,” with a screenplay by The Coen Brothers and Matt Charman. Telling the story of an insurance lawyer called upon to defend a Russian spy and the complexities that come along with that during the paranoia filled Cold War, the screenplay does a nice job of making the lead character likable and competent while never making the Russian spy out to be any sort of villain, but rather a man doing his job who just happens to be caught. With some ambiguity, the tone of the film often feels like anything goes, but there’s a sheen to the film as a whole that makes it feel glossy and overproduced in terms of there actually being no real stakes. It’s a cookie-cutter period piece that does not really get its hands dirty, and for that it feels slightly weak.

What’s its competition? With Academy favorites Steven Spielberg and The Coen Brothers on board, this screenplay slightly stands a chance of upsetting, but only slightly, as “Spotlight” is the odds-on favorite to win. “Bridge Of Spies” has the Best Picture nomination working in its favorite, but so does “Spotlight,” so again, it still has the edge.

Previous nominations? This is the first Academy Award nomination for Matt Charman. This is the twelfth Academy Award nomination for Ethan Coen. He was previously nominated for:

  • TRUE GRIT (2010)
    Nominee, Directing
  • TRUE GRIT (2010)
    Nominee, Best Picture
  • TRUE GRIT (2010)
    Nominee, Writing (Adapted)
  • A SERIOUS MAN (2009)
    Nominee, Best Picture
  • A SERIOUS MAN (2009)
    Nominee, Writing (Original)
  • NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007)
    Winner, Directing
  • NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007)
    Winner, Best Picture
  • NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007)
    Winner, Writing (Adapted)
  • O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (2000)
    Nominee, Writing (Adapted)
  • FARGO (1996)
    Nominee, Best Picture
  • FARGO (1996)
    Winner, Writing (Original)

This is the twelfth Academy Award nomination for Joel Coen. He was previously nominated for:

  • TRUE GRIT (2010)
    Nominee, Directing
  • TRUE GRIT (2010)
    Nominee, Best Picture
  • TRUE GRIT (2010)
    Nominee, Writing (Adapted)
  • A SERIOUS MAN (2009)
    Nominee, Best Picture
  • A SERIOUS MAN (2009)
    Nominee, Writing (Original)
  • NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007)
    Winner, Directing
  • NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007)
    Winner, Best Picture
  • NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007)
    Winner, Writing (Adapted)
  • O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU? (2000)
    Nominee, Writing (Adapted)
  • FARGO (1996)
    Nominee, Directing
  • FARGO (1996)
    Winner, Writing (Original)

Additionally, Ethan and Joel Coen have also received two nominations under the pseudonym Roderick Jaynes. Roderick Jaynes was previously nominated for:

  • NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN (2007)
    Nominee, Film Editing
  • FARGO (1996)
    Nominee, Film Editing

 

“Bridge Of Spies” (2015) Trailer:


exmachina insideout spotlight1 straightouttacompton


// Produced by Steven Spielberg, Marc Platt, and Kristie Macosko Krieger // Directed by Steven Spielberg //
// Dated Viewed: Sunday, February 14th, 2016 // DVD //  11 films – 15 days //

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