BARRY NORMAN: FILM OF THE DAY
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ★★★★
For viewers of a certain age, Alec Guinness simply was George Smiley in the 1979 BBC TV series. Hard to think of anyone equalling him but Gary Oldman comes mighty close in this version, directed by Tomas Alfredson, of John Le Carré’s novel. In London in the early 1970s, the search is on for a Soviet double agent lurking at the very top of the British secret service. All the suspects are given the “Tinker, Tailor” nicknames and – shock horror! – they include Smiley himself as “Beggarman”. In this twisting, turning, hugely complex tale of intrigue, double-dealing, violence and paranoia nobody is above suspicion. You have to keep your wits about you to keep up with what’s going on at any given time, but it’s well worth the effort. And the fact that the suspects are played by such familiar figures as John Hurt, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, Ciar‡n Hinds and Benedict Cumberbatch at least makes it easier to keep track of who’s who.
Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll ★★★
Andy Serkis is best known for “playing” Gollum and King Kong in major blockbusters, but has reasons to be cheerful with his tour-de-force performance as volatile singer Ian Dury.
The Adjustment Bureau ★★★
This sci-fi tale based on a typically knotty Philip K Dick story sees Matt Damon fall for Emily Blunt, but Fate (in the shape of some sharp-suited secret agents) has other plans.
10.40pm-12.20am Film Four
Granted great powers, three teenagers find that the great responsibility part is optional in this smart and effective sci-fi drama.
Gang in Blue ★★★
11.00pm-1.00am True Entertainment
Mario Van Peebles is the idealistic cop trying to root out racists at the precinct in an impassioned drama he co-directed with his father Melvin.
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