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Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
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Admirers of the BBC's 1979 TV series might think it foolish to make a feature film of John le Carré's novel in the first place, let alone give it to Tomas Alfredson, the Swedish director of cult horror
Let the Right One In
. But this period thriller features great performances and terrific Cold War detail, as retired spy George Smiley (Gary Oldman) is brought back to the secret service after the death of a colleague (John Hurt), who claimed to have evidence of a deep-cover Russian agent. But who is it? On the page and on TV, such intrigue had time to smoulder, but in the course of two hours the plot points whizz past at a bewildering rate, pausing only for cryptic close-ups of the major suspects (Ciarán Hinds, Colin Firth, Toby Jones and David Dencik). The cast and set dressing are all first class, superbly capturing a weary point in recent British history, but there's a sketchiness to the characters that makes it hard to root for Smiley, let alone ponder the motives of the mysterious mole.
The deputy to the head of British intelligence is forced into retirement after an operation ends in disaster. He is later recruited by the government to return to duty and investigate the possibility of a Soviet mole in a high-ranking position in MI6. Cold War thriller based on John Le Carre's novel, with Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch and Roger Lloyd Pack.
Cast & Crew
Philip Martin Brown
Violence, swearing, sex scenes.
DVD and Blu-ray
16 Sep 2011
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