The Big Screen #film #grandma #bridgeofspies

So THAT blockbuster is nearly upon us and no one needs to hype it more than it is already, but if you are looking for something a little more cerebral, drily humorous or gritty I’ve two recommendations for your delectation and delight.

Bridge of Spies stars Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance in a based on fact drama set at the height of the Cold War. Russian spy Abel (Rylance) has been captured and needs a decent lawyer to defend him. James Donovan (Hanks) is a successful attorney and is cajoled into taking the brief. He is reluctant but patriotism and his bosses’ pressure play a part. He may start without enthusiasm but his essential decency, his respect for Abel and his commitment to American principles of the constitution and the rule of law turn him into a terrier for this unloved foreigner. Public loathing follows when he persuades the authorities not to impose the death penalty but he is vindicated when Gary Powers a spy plane pilot is shot down.  Trade is the obvious result but neither government wants to be seen to be trading so Donovan is employed, clandestinely to effect the negotiations.  The films tensions, Bleak Berlin settings and acting are excellent. There are goodish guys and badish guys on both sides.  It is rather smaltzy in parts but pulls few punches and while the US system is clearly portrayed as the better one the guys running it are as mixed in terms of ethics and manipulations as the other. While Hanks is the star Rylance is the class act. Most enjoyable.

Grandma stars Lily Tomlin in a film unusually and beguilingly full of excellent parts for female actors of all ages. But it is Tomlin, grumpy, contrary, and seemingly misogynist who steals the show. We learn of her bereavement, her callous break up with a recent girlfriend and the long term warring with her only daughter. When her granddaughter Sage turns up in need of $600 for an abortion they start on a journey to find the money that reveals Tomlins truer self and a life richly if at times painfully lived. There is much humour amongst the insights and ultimately a realistic ending that is far from neat but all the more real for that.

For me Tomlin should be up for the Best Female Oscar and Rylance for Best Support.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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19 Responses to The Big Screen #film #grandma #bridgeofspies

  1. I have already heard a little about Grandma, and it definitely seems like a film that I want to see. Thanks for the recommendation Geoff 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. willowdot21 says:

    I loved Bridge of spies , I saw it on the flight home from Antigua it was all you say and more! I have not seen Grandma up it is on my list now!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. merrildsmith says:

    We liked both movies. Mark Rylance is an amazing actor (he was riveting as Cromwell in Wolf Hall). Lily Tomlin was also really good.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Helen Jones says:

    I am going to the blockbuster one, but then I’ve been a fan since the first one in 1977. I like the look of your recommendations too 🙂 Also went to see Krampus the other night, why I’ll never know – I do NOT recommend it, unless you like unintentionally hilarious horror movies starring faded Oscar nominated actors with budget special effects, in which case, knock yourself out 🙂

    Like

  5. jan says:

    Check out Brooklyn. It’s a wonderful movie that will stick with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Funnily enough, I’ve been meaning to go and see Bridge of Spies, so that’s sealed the deal. I wasn’t so bothered about Grandma, but I’ll give it a go if I’ve got time. Good recommendations, Geoff

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Charli Mills says:

    Ah, good reviews but I think the 15-year-old wants to see Star Wars!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. rogershipp says:

    Thanks for your recommendations. I am not a movie goer… but I will try to catch these as the come through.

    Liked by 1 person

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