Tinker Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Vernon Film Society Director: Tomas Alfredson
Cast: Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Mark Strong, John Hurt, Ciarán Hinds
Run Time: 127 minutes
Country: United Kingdom
Year: 2011
Language: English
Rating: 14A (Violence, sexually suggestive scene)

Adapted from John le Carré’s classic Cold War spy novel of the same name, and starring a who’s who of British acting talent, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a fascinating look at the disenchanted world of espionage and treachery. Unglamorous but certainly not unexciting, the film is the anti-James Bond where gadgets and girls are replaced with drab duds and anonymous office space, cool colours and muted emotions. Having been dismissed from the Secret Intelligence Service, George Smiley (a superlative Gary Oldman, The Dark Knight, The Scarlet Letter) is brought back into the fold when former head of MI6, Control (John Hurt, Melancholia, Brighton Rock), asks him to smoke out a mole who’s leaking secrets to the Soviets. The suspects are all at the top level, collectively known as “The Circus”, and each of them is played by top-drawer British actors.

Who is the guilty man? Take your pick from Toby Jones (My Week With Marilyn, Creation), Colin Firth (The King’s Speech, A Single Man), Ciaran Hinds (The Debt, There Will Be Blood), and David Dencik (the upcoming War Horse and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), who meet around a table every so often to exchange hard looks and nasty quips. The fifth suspect, of course, is Smiley himself. Preserving the murky atmosphere of mistrust and cynical insecurity of the novel, director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) impressively recreates early 1970s London. The London shown here is a cold, damp-looking place, scrupulously shot by Alfredson in a restricted palette of subdued greys and browns.

Aided by superb production design, a satisfyingly intelligent script, and a crack ensemble cast that also includes Mark Strong (The Guard, The Way Back) and younger actors such as Tom Hardy (Warrior, Inception) and Benedict Cumberbatch (War Horse, The Whistleblower), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is not only a stunningly good old-fashioned spy yarn, but a surefire classic.

" John le Carré reportedly once said, ‘Seeing your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.’ Maybe so, but in the case of Tomas Alfredson’s version of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, the result is best likened to a perfectly seasoned consommé. " – Leslie Felperin, Variety

Reviews: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1340800/criticreviews

Official Website and trailer: http://www.tinker-tailor-soldier-spy.com/

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