Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Christmas-crazy Cambridge pub pulls out all the stops

A Cambridge pub has pulled out all the stops to kick Christmas cheer into overdrive. David Utting, who owns The Empress on Thoday Street, has decked the halls of the pub with lashings of tinsel, lights and decorations in anticipation of the festive season. Mr Utting said it takes weeks for him and his employees to decorate even a single room, and they could be working "all through the day, for hours and hours". He said: "People keep saying, 'Dave, it's not even Hallowe'en yet, and I tell them, 'do you know how long this stuff takes to put up?'." "All the walls are covered in chimney brick work, which is like wallpaper, so that takes a long time to do. Then we have probably around 60 or 70 sets of lights to put up, and then we have got probably 500 baubles. It's beautiful." The interior is also adorned with teddy bears and models of snowmen and santa. Crackers and seasonal socks hang like wintery stalactites. Members of staff wear Santa hats and Mr Utting has his very own elf costume. But if you think all these decorations come cheap, think again. "Every year I spend a little bit extra," he said. "And over a period of about nine years, you can imagine how much stuff I have collected. I spend about two or three grand a year." Mr Utting was ill last year and was forced to scale back decorations. This year, however, customers have really noticed the difference, he said. "People know I'm going for it this year. They've come up to me and said 'this looks really cool, Dave'." Following in The Empress tradition, free food will be served on Christmas day. Mr Utting said of last year's event, "we did a roast dinner for free for people, but it was a lot of work for my wife. "Still, this year we'll be doing Shepherd's Pie for free. I don't need the money and it's what Christmas is all about. I don't mind putting out a few trays." "It's really nice to do it for the local community." Cambridge News

Monday, October 26, 2015

Bernie Sanders Greets Trick-or-Treaters By Ethan Kuperberg

All right, all right, you don’t have to shout. You want a treat or you’ll trick me. Makes sense. Silly? A little. But also? Very aggressive. I like aggressive. You’re good people. Hardworking. You’ve got families. And the fact that you can’t simply earn the treats you deserve, you’ve gotta go around begging, I don’t like saying this, but here’s the reality: it’s an international embarrassment. Everyone on the block knows it. You? What are you supposed to be? A ghost? Very nice. Very cute, with the sheet. I dressed up as a ghost a few times, too, back in Brooklyn. It’s a fine costume. Maybe you’ll get a fun-size Snickers, if you’re lucky. But let me tell you who the real ghost is. The American middle class. And it’s not just a white blanket with some scissor holes in it. It’s actually disappearing. And it’s certainly had enough tricks, let me tell you. By the way, I’ve spent a lot of time living in scary-looking houses. I don’t give a damn about ghosts. What are you? Speak up, I can’t hear you. A vampire? Huh. With the black suit and the fangs? I thought you were some sorta Wall Street guy. My mistake. I apologize. But let’s cut the B.S.—nothing’s scarier than living in an oligarchy. Not even those pointy fingernails. What’s that on your mouth there? Fake blood? You spent actual American dollars on fake blood? Listen to me. Get some ketchup. Squirt it out and wipe it on your mouth. That’s it. Cheaper than any fake blood you’ll buy at a corporate Halloween chain store. You don’t even need name-brand ketchup. Now take the money you saved on fake blood and invest it in a strong national grassroots movement—we’re not asking for much more than thirty dollars. I mean, stand up and organize. For God’s sake, organize. Well, aren’t you a cute little ballerina? Let’s not sit on the fence here—you’re not going to get all the treats you deserve until we start a serious discussion about why you are all walking more blocks for less candy than ever before. You can wave that pirate sword all you want, young man, but I’m telling you it’s shortsighted. You won’t fill up those pillowcases until you demand treats from every house—goddam it, from the entire neighborhood. I hear that some people in the gated community down the road even give out full-size 3 Musketeers bars. But only if they decide that your costume is good enough. Disgraceful. Let me ask you kids something. What do you really care about? Because, let’s be honest, dressing up is a distraction from the real issues. Look at this block. Who’s giving out the candy? A tiny group of individuals. And they’re diverting you with their decorations—the cobwebs, the skeletons, all that candle-in-a-pumpkin hullabaloo. But who’s doing the walking? Who’s doing the doorbell-ringing? Who’s doing the suggestion of tricking? Which, might I add, is something you all must continue to do in such a highly competitive neighborhood economy. Who’s doing the work? You are. The unequal distribution of treats is the great issue of our time. And I’m sick of— Hey, stop crying. You, little boy dressed as a banana, what’s with the tears? Sponge who? You’re a sponge-blob with a square dance? I’ve never heard of such a thing. I thought you were a banana. Look, I’ve got no time for made-up nonsense if we’re going to save the middle class. And neither do any of you. As for treats, I’ve got a loaf of bread, only one day old, I’ve got a couple of Altoids, and if anybody wants they can pet my cat. The New Yorker

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Baryshnikov Arts Center Receives $3 Million Gift from Nureyev Foundation By Jennifer Schuessler

The Baryshnikov Arts Center, which turns 10 years old this year, has received a $3 million birthday check from the Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation. The gift is the first toward a permanent endowment for the center, which provides artistic residencies and presents some 20 shows a year at its two-theater facility in the Hudson Yards area of Manhattan. One of the studios there will be named for Mr. Nureyev, who died in 1993 and trained at the same ballet academy in St. Petersburg as Mr. Baryshnikov. “This gift attaches his name to something I think he championed — artists experimenting, challenging themselves to do better, taking risks,” Mr. Baryshnikov told The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the gift. The Baryshnikov Arts Center opened in 2005 with the mission of creating a gathering place for artists of all disciplines. The fall season includes shows by the puppeteer Ronnie Burkett, the Aakash Odedra dance company and the experimental theater director Daniel Fish. The gift is the largest yet made by the Nureyev foundation, which is based in Chicago and has disbursed some $12 million over the past 20 years, according to Barry L. Weinstein, its board chairman. “The gift is intended as a meaningful tribute to one of the world’s greatest dancers, Rudolf Nureyev,” Mr. Weinstein said in an interview. While the gift is intended specifically to support dance at the center, he added, both Mr. Nureyev and Mr. Baryshnikov were “connected by being nourished by an appreciation of all the arts.” International New York Times Photo Wikipedia

Saturday, October 17, 2015


A post at Tía-Bonita Blog March 29, 2010. It's about coffee today and am very pleased that the grocery in walking distance carries my brand . . . Dallmayr. A visit to the Dallmayr store in Munich is a sensory experience -- a kind of Dean & Deluca of Germany. You walk into the Dallmayr store and a blast of fragrance hits you and you're immediately drawn into the gourmet of all specialties -- especially those folks preparing for the holidays. Although, despite its sensational charm, it lacks the very essence of "gift exchange". An American walks into the store hoping to find a holiday basket as a gift, and there's next to none. If any, a small bottle of champagne and a box of chocolates, not even decorated, just product. A German walks into the store and darts for the cheese and dried meats showcase and is inundated by crowds of people wearing heavy obtrusive clothing and sassy handbags -- the who's who of Munich, which could be interesting, although not imminently. It takes a good couple of minutes for the American to settle into the Dallmayr culture and not feel annoyed. You tour the store, you wait elbow-to-elbow with guests, you order, you've finally got your Dallmayr bags -- sans holiday baskets -- you're thinking * fine * you're moving towards the door, it's pouring rain outside, and you wonder, "would it be better if i stay and order a cappuccino"? Photo

Friday, October 16, 2015

What Adults Need to Know about Pediatric Depression By Deborah Serani

Research shows that children, even babies, experience depression. The clinical term is called Pediatric Depression, and rates are higher now than ever before. In the United States alone, evidence suggests that up to 1% of babies, 4 percent of preschool-aged children, 5 percent of school-aged children, and 11 percent of adolescents meet the criteria for major depression. According to American Association of Suicidology, Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in adolescents ages 15 to 24, and is the 6th leading cause of death in children ages 5 to14. Suicide is significantly linked to depression, so early diagnosis and treatment of Pediatric Depression is not just extremely important – it is life-saving. The fields of neurology, psychology, psychiatry and pediatrics started tracking symptoms of longing, sadness and anxiety in children, which helped launch the official discipline of child psychiatry in 1920. Many pioneers like Melanie Klein, John Bowlby, Anna Freud, D.W. Winnicott, Rene Spitz, and Erick Erickson broadened the field of child depression, detailing theories on trauma, despair and melancholic reactions in children. But it would take almost a century more for science to truly root itself in the belief that children could, without a doubt, have depression. The 21st century showed a rapid growth of clinical interest in mood disorders in children, influenced by advances in medical technology and the field of neurobiology joining forces with psychology and psychiatry. Evidenced based research studies started streaming in, each one validating aspects of pediatric depression, its symptoms, etiology and methods of treatment. Scientists agreed that though children had immature and underdeveloped affective (emotional) and cognitive (thinking) skills, depression was something they can experience. Children have mood changes, are capable of having negative thoughts, and tend to show depressive symptoms in more behavioral ways. Examples like joyless facial responses, listless body posture, unresponsive eye gaze, slowed physical reactions and irritable or fussy mannerisms, just to name a few. Not only did studies confirm the existence of Pediatric Depression, but distinctive symptoms were seen in differing stages of childhood. These results widened the scope of understanding depression in children, and helped highlight that patterns of depression vary with a child’s age. So, the history of Pediatric Depression began with a steadfast “No way it could ever be” to a more thoughtful “Oh yes it can,” to a postmodern “and it’s intricately unique.”

Facts Every Adult Should Know

1. Myth: Depression looks the same in children as it does in adults.
False. Children don’t have the verbal language or cognitive savvy to express the textures of depression. Instead, body symptoms like aches and pains, fatigue, and slowness present as can tearfulness, unrealistic feelings of guilt, isolation and irritability.
3. Myth: Pediatric Depression will go away on its own.
False: A serious mental illness cannot be willed away or brushed aside with a change in attitude. Ignoring the problem doesn’t give it the slip either. Depression is a serious, but treatable illness, with a success rate of upwards of 80% for children who receive intervention.
5. Myth: The risk of suicide for children is greatly exaggerated.
False. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in adolescents ages 15 to 24, and is the 6th leading cause of death in children ages 5 to14. Suicide is significantly linked to depression, so early diagnosis and treatment of Pediatric Depression is extremely important.
6. Myth: There are no proven treatments to treat Pediatric Depression.
False. Volumes of studies show that talk therapy treatments like play therapy, family therapy, and individual therapy offer significant improvements for children who experience depression. Upwards of 80% of children who receive treatment move into remission. The other 20% may require medication to help with their illness – and, though this is often a hot topic for controversy, there are evidenced-based studies that support this as a treatment option.
7. Myth: Antidepressants will change a child’s personality.
False. Antidepressants normalize the ranges of moods in children who have a mood disorder – and will not change your child’s personality what-so-ever.
9. Myth: When a depressed child refuses help, there’s nothing parents can do.
False. If your child refuses to go to talk therapy or take medication, there are things you can do. You can seek therapy with a trained mental health specialist to learn how to help your child in spite of the fact that he won’t attend sessions. In a crisis situation, you can drive your child to the nearest hospital emergency room, or contact family, friends or the local police for assistance in getting him there.
10. Myth: Seriously depressed children CANNOT lead productive lives.
False: Many children with depression can grow up to live full, productive lives. In fact, many high profile people, including President Abraham Lincoln, Writer J.K. Rowlings, Artist Michelangelo, Actor Harrison Ford, Choreographer Alvin Ailey, Actress Courteney Cox, Entrepreneur Richard Branson, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Rocker Bruce Springsteen and Baseballer Ken Griffey, Jr. have been very successful in their chosen professions – despite struggling with depression in their young lives. If you suspect that a child is struggling with depression, immediately contact a physician. Share your concerns and plan for a full medical evaluation to begin this diagnostic process. Once medical tests show no other reason for the fatigue, sadness, aches and pains that often come with depression, a mental health professional will evaluate further for this pediatric mood disorder.
Pediatric Depression is a serious, but treatable disorder. And there is great hope for healing when detected early. Scientific American Photo

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Celine Dion and R. Kelly

I'm Your Angel

Céline Marie Claudette Dion, born 30 March 1968) is a Canadian singer, songwriter, businesswoman and occasional actress. Born into a large family from Charlemagne, Quebec, Dion emerged as a teen star in the French-speaking world after her manager and future husband René Angélil mortgaged his home to finance her first record. In 1990, she released the English-language album Unison, establishing herself as a viable pop artist in North America and other English-speaking areas of the world. Celine Dion's music has been influenced by genres ranging from rock and R&B to gospel and classical. Her recordings are mainly in French and English, although she also sings in Spanish, Italian, German, Latin, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. While her releases have often received mixed critical reception, she is renowned for her technically skilled and powerful vocals. Dion has won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year for Falling Into You and Record of the Year for "My Heart Will Go On". She is the second best-selling female artist in the US during the Nielsen SoundScan era, with her albums Falling Into You and Let's Talk About Love both certified Diamond in the US, In addition, her 1995 album D'eux, is the best-selling French-language album of all time. In 2004, after surpassing 175 million in album sales worldwide, she was presented with the Chopard Diamond Award at the World Music Awards for becoming the best-selling female artist of all time. Dion remains the best-selling Canadian artist in history and one of the best-selling artists of all time with record sales of more than 200 million copies worldwide. Wikipedia

Robert Sylvester Kelly (born January 8, 1967), known professionally as R. Kelly, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, rapper and former professional basketball player. A native of Chicago, Illinois, [he is] often referred to as the King of R&B. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has recognized R. Kelly as one of the best-selling music artists in the United States with 40 million albums sold as well as only the fifth black artist to crack the top 50 of the same list. In March 2011, R. Kelly was named the most successful R&B artist of the last 25 years by Billboard. Kelly has released 12 solo studio albums, and sold over 100 million records worldwide making him the most successful R&B male artist of the 1990s and also one of the best selling musical artists of all time. He has been credited for helping redefine R&B and hip hop, earning the nicknames "King of R&B" and "King of Pop-Soul". He is listed by Billboard as the most successful R&B/Hip Hop artist of the past 25 years (1985-2010) and also the most successful R&B artist in history. Throughout his career, Kelly has won numerous awards, including a Guinness World Records as well as countless of other awards like Grammy, BET, Soul Train, Billboard, NAACP and American Music Award. Wikipedia Photo ABC News

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bruce Hornsby

Mandolin Rain Photo

Bruce Randall Hornsby (born November 23, 1954) is an American singer and keyboardist known for the spontaneity and creativity of his live performances. Hornsby draws frequently from classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk, Motown, gospel, rock, blues, and jam band musical traditions with his songwriting and the seamless improvisations contained within.
Hornsby's recordings have been recognized on a number of occasions with industry awards, including the 1987 Grammy Award for Best New Artist with Bruce Hornsby and the Range, the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album, and the 1994 Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance. Hornsby has also achieved recognition for his solo albums and performances, his touring band Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers, his bluegrass project with Ricky Skaggs and his appearances as a session- and guest-musician. He also collaborated with Grateful Dead and was an unofficial member of the band from September 1990 to March 1992, playing at over 100 shows during that period. Wikipedia

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Basel chef Peter Knogl gains third Michelin star By Caroline Bishop

The Basel region now has its first three Michelin-starred restaurant after chef Peter Knogl at the Hôtel Trois Rois received his third star in the 2016 Michelin guide to Switzerland, published on Thursday. German chef Knogl, who arrived to run the Cheval Blanc restaurant at the famous Basel hotel in 2007, achieved his first star by the end of that year and his second a year later. The 47-year-old now joins only two other chefs in Switzerland – Benoît Violier at the Hôtel de Ville in Crissier and Andreas Caminada at the Schloss Schauenstein in Fürstenau – in holding three Michelin stars, generally acknowledged as the highest accolade possible for a chef. Revealing the new guide, Michael Ellis, international director of the Michelin guides, said in a statement that Knogl’s cuisine “hasn’t stopped evolving over the last few years”. He praised the chef’s “refined ideas” which make dining at his restaurant “a unique experience”. Reacting to the achievement, Knogl said it was “a life-long dream come true”. “The choice of our inspectors, who work independently and anonymously, confirms once again for 2016 the high level of Swiss gastronomy and reflects the huge culinary diversity in the country,” said Ellis. He also praised Switzerland’s mix of traditional restaurants and innovative, modern establishments. The Local Switzerland

Why Leonardo DiCaprio should win an Academy Award By Héctor Llanos Martínez and Martin Delfin

The eternal nominee might finally pick up his first Oscar for Iñárritu’s ‘The Revenant’

He is infallible as an actor; his conservation work fills the pages of newspapers, while at the same time hundreds of magazines are quick to publish photos of him and his latest girlfriend.
So why hasn’t Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar? The 40-year-old actor has spent half his life trying to win an Academy Award, and now many are saying his time has come with his role in The Revenant, a western-thriller directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. The new film by the Mexican director – whose Birdman scooped four awards at this year’s Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director – focuses on the survival of a fur-trapper who is left for dead and abandoned somewhere in the Dakota mountains by his hunting companions. As well as being one of the favorites for next year’s awards ceremony, the film is almost entirely carried by DiCaprio and in certain ways is centered on his brilliance. Both the director and actor undertook a filming odyssey in the snow-filled landscapes of Calgary, Canada, and will be hoping to be recognized for their efforts when the Oscar nominations are announced in mid-January. EL PAÍS

The Revenant Inspired by true events, THE REVENANT is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man's epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption. THE REVENANT is directed and co-written by renowned filmmaker, Academy Award (R) winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman, Babel). (C) Fox Rotten Tomatoes Photo

Friday, October 9, 2015

Rome's Spanish Steps Closed for Bulgari-funded makeover

ROME (AFP) - Rome's famous Spanish Steps closed to the public Wednesday for a restoration project funded by luxury jeweller Bulgari that is expected to last several months. Bulgari, bought in 2011 by French luxury giant LVMH, is putting €1.5 million (S$2.3 million) into the refurbishment. The 18th-century Baroque-style stairway, which has 144 steps, was last restored 20 years ago. The work, which will be carried out by local restorer Il Cenacolo, is expected to be finished by spring 2016, at which point the steps will be "restored to the whole world in all their beauty and splendour," Rome mayor Ignazio Marino said. The steps will be closed to pedestrians until Dec 7 - the start of a special Jubilee year expected to draw millions of Catholic pilgrims to Rome - after which a side ramp will be opened to allow access to tourists. "Rome has always been the number one source of inspiration for Bulgari, so it is right to give back to Rome what Rome has given Bulgari," the jeweller's CEO Jean-Christophe Babin said as work began. The work includes re-levelling the steps to repair natural wear and maintenance of the rainwater drainage system, as well as restoring the original lamps which illuminate the steps by night. The Spanish Steps, which links Bernini's "boat" fountain with the Trinita dei Monti church at the top, were made famous in the United States by the 1953 film Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Bulgari pledged the money last year in response to a government plea for help in financing Italy's heritage monuments. The private sector is already helping restore other Unesco monuments: in Rome, luxury shoemaker Tod's is financing works at the Colosseum, while high-end fashion house Fendi is refurbishing the Trevi Fountain. The Straits Times Photo

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Roman Holiday By Paula Diperna

With some time to kill waiting in Rome for a bus to Abruzzo, I was planning on a nice Sunday lunch in the city center. I took a taxi from the station to the Via Margutta. The cab approached my destination and the streets were throbbing with tourists. I was suddenly gripped by the need to get far away. “Never mind, let’s leave,” I said to the taxi driver, who had been gently threading his way through the ancient pathways of the eternal city. “Let’s go instead to the Piazza Bologna,” I said, which was near the bus station. “I’ll have lunch there.” “But do you know that’s the other direction completely?” the driver asked. I said so be it, and I would explain en route. I explained that even though I was a tourist, I preferred not to be surrounded by them. I added that I was headed to Abruzzo to visit relatives. His face broke into a huge smile, “I also have relatives there, signora.” With that, he unleashed a cascade of helpful hints: Abruzzo was “wild and known to be tough but gracious;” the bus station could be dangerous and I should be very careful. The driver took me to a restaurant in the Bologna neighborhood. He kindly put my bags on the sidewalk and we said goodbye. The day was unrolling perfectly, thanks to this fellow. When I later told my relatives about his niceties, they said it had to be a miracle. Ten days later, I was back in Rome, this time with a full-day. I had no agenda, but a Dutch couple I had met had raved about a sculpture they had seen by chance — “Il Pugile,” a first-century A.D. bronze of an exhausted boxer. So contagious was their passion for it that I decided I should see it too. My hotel concierge spent about 30 minutes on the Web trying to locate the piece. He found it, but when I got to the museum, the guard told me the Pugile was elsewhere, in another museum on the other side of the city. Not to be thwarted, I crossed town. The Dutch woman had eloquently called the piece “a kind of time machine, defying any moment.” And she was right. The spent hero sat slumped, hands wrapped, nose broken, head turned in amazement at his survival, it seemed, though one couldn’t actually tell whether he had won or lost his match. I couldn’t take my eyes off “Il Pugile.” I, too, was awed by its silent drama. Still reflecting on my good fortune of receiving this tip from strangers, I stepped onto the street, and decided to go back to the “wrong” museum, which I had given short shrift. I hailed a cab. The driver squinted with disbelief at me, me at him. “You!” we exclaimed in unison. Here was the very same fellow of my Sunday afternoon escapade nearly two weeks ago. He went on about destiny: “Signora, this is impossible. It has never happened to me before in all my years of driving. Do you know how many cabs there are in Rome? Eight thousand at least! Only fate could have brought you to my cab again.” Indeed. I’ve never gotten the same taxi driver twice in any city, and it seemed incredible that a search for Sunday lunch had somehow connected Abruzzo, a random Dutch couple, “Il Pugile,” me and him. Ever helpful, he recommended I not miss the Caravaggio paintings at San Luigi dei Francesi, which was near where I was headed. He dropped me off and again we said goodbye, both delighted with the turn of events. Friends have asked me why I didn’t take his name, but I think it’s because our calling card is not who we are, but the indelible joy and memory of the unexpected experience we had shared. Paula DiPerna is an environmental policy adviser and author who lives in Cooperstown, New York. International New York Times Photo

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Gold Standard Oscar Watch: 'The Martian,' 'Steve Jobs' and 'Bridge of Spies' make their cases By Glenn Whipp

Days are getting shorter, pumpkin spices are contaminating our coffee and beer, and the temperatures in L.A. are dropping into the 80s.All of which means it's high time to roll out the season's first Oscar Watch column, where, every Monday, I'll chronicle the smiles, the frowns, the ups, the downs of the film awards season, culminating with the Academy Awards in February.

'Bridge of Spies'

Steven Spielberg's Cold War thriller premiered Sunday at the New York Film Festival, but not as one of the event's prestigious opening, closing or centerpiece slots. That put expectations in check and, it would seem from the initial response, correctly so, as words such as "low-key" and "unassuming" were bandied about when the closing credits came up. There would appear, initially at least, to be a generation divide at work here with older critics, those who have been around long enough to remember, you know, the Soviet Union, showering the movie with respect and love, while the youngsters are having none of it, calling "Spies" a "schmaltzy bore." Fortunately for Spielberg and actors Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance (who has a showy role as a Soviet spy), the academy is made up of people predisposed to love this kind of classical filmmaking. And the story, chronicling lawyer James B. Donovan’s negotiations for the release of downed U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers, is a stirring celebration of personal integrity ... with a Coen brothers co-authorship credit. There are going to be a lot of older academy members eager to line up behind that.   

Movie Info

Tom Hanks stars as the American attorney tasked with negotiating the release of a U-2 spy plane pilot who was shot down over Russia at the height of the Cold War in this historical drama from DreamWorks Studios. Steven Spielberg and Mark E. Platt produce a film written by Matt Charman. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi Los Angeles Times Rotten Tomatoes