Friday, 16 January 2015

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Watched the 2011 film of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy earlier today and thought it was superb. I had watched the excellent BBC series in its entirety last w/end and quite honestly I feared the film would suffer by comparison. But happily I was wrong, and director Tomas Alfredson brings a fresh alternative to the BBC series - much of the dourness and drabness is now replaced by a distinct urban-ness and more than a few times I was reminded of The Ipcress File and the 70's paranoia cinema of Alan Pakula and Sidney Lumet. Perhaps most remarkable of all is how the screenwriters have managed to condense the book (which ran 5hrs on TV) into a very coherent 2 hours, deftly handling some tricky exposition. Gary Oldman delivers one of the most understated performances I've seen by a leading man in quite some time, and orbiting around him are some fine British and Irish talent - John Hurt, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Tom Hardy, Toby Jones and Ciarán Hinds. Highly recommended !

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