Saturday, March 21, 2015

2011 - TINKER TAYLOR SOLDIER SPY, a spy thriller that only the British can do.

If I hadn't seen the original British mini series with Alec Guinness, I would have had no idea as to what was going on.  There is a double agent in British intelligence and former spy George Smiley is called in figure out who he is. 

This film is more or less a redoing of that miniseries and it's very well done.  It certainly captures the bureaucracy of the British spy organization called "The Circus."  The author John Le Carre had been
an employee of MI5 and MI6, the British intelligence services.  Le Carre must have also been familiar with with the "Cambridge Five" a group of students recruited by the Soviet Union who managed to work themselves up into high positions in British intelligence.  This is the basis of the plot of Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy.

This film is superbly cast.  It has a bunch of very good British actors in it.  The pivotal character of spy George Smiley is played by Gary Oldman of all people.  This is and actor who usually specializes in playing bad guys in crummy action films.  Oldman gives a very nuanced performance as a bland bureaucrat who is also a very sharp spy.

This film is so low key that you really have to pay attention to what is going on at all times.  Still, this is a very good espionage drama.

127 minutes.

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