Best Actor Nomination, Academy Awards, Gary Oldman
Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Best Adapted Screenplay, Online Film Critics Society Awards
“This superb remake has the inevitable look of a period piece, a smoke-filled rendering of things past. However, thanks to Tomas Alfredson's direction, a taut screenplay, and a uniformly brilliant cast, the film also retains its contemporary relevance.”—Rick Groen, The Globe and Mail
“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
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is an enormously impressive piece of work.”—Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a fascinating look at the disenchanted world of espionage and treachery. Unglamorous but still sinister, the film is the antithesis of James Bond where gadgets and girls are replaced by drab duds and anonymous office space, cool colours, and muted emotions. Subtlety, subtext, and secrecy in this world, are everything.
Having been dismissed from the Intelligence Service, George Smiley (a superlative Gary Oldman, The Dark Knight) is brought back into the fold when former head of MI6, Control (John Hurt, Melancholia), 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), Ciaran Hinds (The Debt), and David Dencik (War Horse), who meet round 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) and younger actors such as Tom Hardy (Warrior) and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Whistleblower), Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is not only a stunningly good old fashioned spy yarn, but a sure-fire classic.
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