Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (UK / France) 2011
- From: wlahearn@xxxxxxxxx
- Date: Wed, 16 May 2012 17:54:42 -0700 (PDT)
Smiley and his peeps stand on some well-plowed ground as the book was a best seller and in 1979 the BBC produced a 7-part version staring Alec Guinness that serves -- fair or not -- as the yardstick for measuring the film, at least in some people's minds. Getting all that spy lingo and paranoid daydreaming down to two hours is a challenge that I think the film did quite well. If you're going to rattle Guinness' past roles, you better have someone like Gary Oldman do it. Oldman's a brilliant actor and knows better than to try and outdo the previous role. In fact, except for Benedict Cumberbatch -- who is the godawful "new" Sherlock Holmes of the BBC that streams on PBS in the US -- the casting seems right on.
"Tinker Tailor" is the usual story of over-educated and paranoid English spies playing whack-a-mole that has been a staple of espionage stories for a long, long, time. Directed by Tomas Alfredson ("Let The Right One In"), it's a tight production that doesn't seem to waste a moment. My only real complaint about this film is that I'm so sick of an ending that has some song playing over the action as all the lose ends get tied up. Granted, it's a classic song sung in French and not "Layla" or "Gimme Shelter" or some other Scorsese-inspired radio hit. But still. That nonsense is for TV where it belongs.