Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is excellent! But, may not be everyone’s cup of tea…

Why would I place the disclaimer in my review? Well, because most people do not like slow burn movies–you know–films that are quiet, subtle and deliberate.  And Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (TTSS) is most definitely a slow burn! I LOVED IT!!  Perfectly crafted, acted and executed. It is a story that takes its time–is complicated–and does not spoon feed its audience.  If that does not appeal to you–(and that is not a judgement) do not watch this film because you probably won’t like it. 

I believe that this is what true espionage must be like.  Thinking.  Solving puzzles.  Staying smarter and one step ahead of your enemies.  I am sure there are chases and fights–but most of the time, you have to out think your opponent, which you most likely will never meet. And this is what TTSS does so well, it highlights the paranoia, distrust and the intense nature of the spy business.  There were moments that I was tense and nervous just listening to them talk. 

Director Tomas Alfredson has done it again!  His unique vampire story, Let the Right One In, was my #1 favorite film of that year and TTSS will be in my Top 10 of 2011.  Alfredson is steady.  He moves the story along carefully.  By taking his time to set up mood and atmosphere he is able to increase the tension and suspense gradually and successfully.  And the feel is rich and heavy–I loved the 35mm look of the film–it was a nice touch and made it feel like it was shot in the 1970s. 

The writers (Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan) captured John le Carre‘s essence very well.  I have read a few of his novels, but not TTSS, so this was a clean slate for me.  I am glad I did not know what was going to happen because it kept the narrative engrossing for me from start to finish. This is so much more than just a mere “find the mole” story–well done!

Now for the cast. WOW!!  It is the British royalty of Acting. Everyone (and I mean everyone) is absolutely brilliant!  Colin Firth–Tom Hardy–Ciaran Hinds–John Hurt–etc, etc.  But for me, it was a particular pleasure since my long time love, Gary Oldman and my new-found love, Benedict Cumberbatch (BBC’s Sherlock) were sharing the screen.  I am willing to sound like a teenage girl when I say…OMG!!  Deep sigh.  Yes, clearly I am not objective when it comes to the demanding, superb presence of both these actors–they have a powerful effect on me. I can only hope tha Mr. Oldman will finally get some well over due Oscar attention.  His portrayal of George Smiley may not be flashy or overly dramatic–but that is not the only criteria used to measure outstanding performances and Oldman’s Smiley is outstanding!

So, if you like spy thrillers and want to see a smart, intricate puzzle come together–check it out! 

About nediunedited

Who is nediunedited? A lover of cinema since the age of seven! All kinds–all genres. Films (TV and Books, too) have shaped my life–they were my escape, my inspiration and even my first role models. I do not rate my films in the traditional sense (no stars, grades, etc.)–instead I give you my opinion and my take on it–I do not give traditional plot summaries either, because I want you to go in clear–ready for your own experience. There is nothing better than discovering a fine film, without any other influence. (Personally, when I want to really see something I practice media shut out–I refuse to watch too many trailers, viral promos, reviews, etc–I have been known to cover my eyes and ears in the theater during trailers–LALALALA!) That’s me–hope you come by and visit! I will definitely make the rounds and find some of you out there, too.

4 thoughts on “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is excellent! But, may not be everyone’s cup of tea…

  1. With so much information being thrown at us, I wish that there was much more time for all of it to just sink in but I liked the fact that the film made you pay attention to every little detail as this story just kept building and building. Everybody here in this cast is great too, especially Oldman who perfectly brings this flick together. Good review. Check out mine when you get the chance.

  2. Pingback: Review: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy « Deeply Unfashionable

  3. It is one of those films that is labyrinthine in its plot construction but it is a very rewarding experience. It is a shame that it isn’t up for Best Picture at the Oscars. I am glad though that Gary Oldman is nominated for Best Actor…it is a crime that this great actor has never won an Academy Award.

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