Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

D: Tomas Alfredson
Focus Features/Studio Canal/Karla Films/Paradis/Kinowelt/Working Title (Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner & Robyn Slovo)
UK/France/Germany 2011
127 mins


W: Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan [based on the novel by John le Carré]
DP: Hoyte van Hoytema
Ed: Dino Jonsäter 
Mus: Alberto Iglesias
PD: Maria Djurkovic

Gary Oldman (George Smiley), Colin Firth (Bill Haydon), Tom Hardy (Ricki Tarr), Mark Strong (Jim Prideaux), Ciaran Hinds (Roy Bland), Benedict Cumberbatch (Peter Guilliam), Toby Jones (Sir Percy Alleline), John Hurt (Control)

Those expecting James Bond will be disappointed, while those who've seen a John le Carré adaptation will know how his stories are structured, filling the plot with many characters and back stories before allowing the mystery to unfold. It's just the way he plays his chess.
During the 1970's, MI6 agent George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is brought out of semi-retirement to carry out an investigation after it emerges that a suspected mole is involved in espionage with the enemy.
There's a lot to let sink in, with plenty of herrings thrown in to always keep you guessing, with a lot of serious performances rather than a reliance on gadgets, gizmos and action scenes. The period is captured well, with atmospheric production design, cinematography and music, while the source novel is adapted well considering the books of le Carré are notoriously difficult to ensnare a wide audience. You're either one of Smiley's people or you're not.

Gary Oldman in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Gary Oldman in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy