Skip to comments.Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – review
Posted on 01/07/2012 8:03:54 PM PST by afraidfortherepublic
Tomas Alfredson's marvellously chill adaptation of John Le Carré's cold war thriller features a delicate performance from Gary Oldman along with a first-rate supporting cast.
A thunderstorm rolled into Venice overnight, flash-bulbing the sky and lancing the boil of heat that has enveloped the city these past six days. One could have sworn that the temperature dropped still further, to practically Baltic levels, during the morning screening of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, a marvellously chill and acrid cold war thriller from Swedish director Tomas Alfredson. Right here, right now, it's the film to beat at this year's festival.
(Excerpt) Read more at guardian.co.uk ...
“I read most his novels, and found them boring - no action.”
Hubby and I listen to audio books in the car. We tried Smiley’s People, which I realize was probably not the best place to start. We gave up on it, hubby was almost falling asleep while driving and listening to it.
The scene where Smiley goes to visit the old lady spy was just coma-inducing.
We also listened to “the Tourist” by Olen Steinhauer. That was pretty good but it has a most disheartening endings and I HATE THAT.
Really all these spy novels seem to be more about intra-agency betrayal than anything else.
No wonder we lack good intel on our enemies, all our spys are spying on one another.
I hear from friends that it's the best MI yet. Outstanding.
Probably why it's never on T.V. Another successful Le Carre' snoozefest.
Whatever you do, stop the presses and Net Flix the original British tv series “Tinker, Tailor...” starring Alec Guinness and some of the best actors on the planet. Don’t miss the epic battle between Smiley and Karla. You will not regret it.
It is a convoluted story - that’s LeCarre’s style but the acting and plotting are sensational.
I certainly don’t agree with The Guardian that we are encouraged to see our side and their side as equivalent. That is more true in later le Carre works.
The mole is shown at the end saying he had to make a choice, and he made an aesthetic choice. Not moral, not philosophical, not political, not patriotic. Aesthetic. To me that was one of the most degenerate statements I ever heard.
In the book, the loyalty to country and to freedom, and the disdain for communism, are even more emphatic, but they were there in the movie too.
Haven’t seen the film yet, but I can’t imagine it being that good, only because there’s too much story to stuff into two hours. I highly recommend the 1979 mini-series, with Alec Guiness as George Smiley:
I found myself leaning in to pay closer attention during Sherlock. Every moment was wrenching in its own way. I only see one or two movies a year; some just must be seen on a big screen. Sherlock was my first choice this year, and well worth it.
You are right about too much story to stuff into a 2 hr. film. And their portrayals of the characters were flat. It was hard to raise an ounce worth of empathy for any of them, much less keep track of who is alive and who is dead with all the flashbacks.
“Red” with Helen Mirren and Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, & Morgan Freeman in 2010 was a story along the same lines, but much better done. Much better.
That movie is a classic. It's probably Richard Burton's best performance. The rest of the cast, Claire Bloom, Oscar Werner, Peter Van Eyck; are all great as well. It really has several twists that make it difficult to figure out until the end.
The only problem with Le Carre is that he is one of those lefties who felt that all sides in the cold war were essentially the same.