Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

(61 votes, average 4.39 out of 5)
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Comments (25)
  • Eddie The Lightbringer
    Ah, Projector, always fun. Movies meant to be studied aren't quite my speed so I'll pass on this one in spite of how much I love Gary Oldman's performances.
  • MelodicBlasphemy
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    I'm not excited to see this film, but something about it has intrigued me so much that I know I'll end up seeing up. I love movies that make me think and question what I think I know about the characters. I'm sad to hear that it's not as good as it's being hyped but I hoped it'll be enjoyable .
  • Not Shelley Duvall  - About the abrupt flashbacks...
    I recently read LeCarre's book to prepare myself for the film, and the book seemed to possess these as well (scenes with Smiley and Peter, for example, were in the present, while scenes with Prideaux were flashbacks, and it took me a while to catch on). So perhaps the film was just being true to the book?...

    I dunno, it's not released in the US for another month and a half, so...I'm sort of jealous of you right now. =^_^=

    Glad to hear everyone's performances are top-notch; I've been fangirling over this film for months purely based on its cast.
  • felicia_angel  - I agree with Not Shelly...
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    The book is FULL of those flashbacks that even listening to it on audio doesn't help to figure out where one part is reality and one is fiction. It's more stream-of-conscious, and I liked that at times.
    I'm also insanely jealous and want it stateside YESTERDAY. ;_;
    Great to hear that there's top-notch performances all around. Now I can't wait until it comes out and want to see it now. *squee* Great review, and good on pointing out some of the problems that might come up for those who might have not heard of the books or be going based on casting, which is fine considering how well some of those movies do anyway.
  • EpicFish
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    I'm actually looking forward to this movie, and I wasn't aware that it was based off of a book. If you (Felicia) or Not Shelly could recommend the book, I'll definitely read it before the movie comes out. I realize reading the book first, I'm probably going to be somewhat disappointed in the movie, as the books are always better than the movies but if the book is well-written and engaging, I'm willing to give it a read. Great review Mathew! It's a bit disheartening to hear you say it was only a "good" movie as opposed to being the "great" movie you were hoping for as I'm really looking forward to this movie as much as you were. But I'll still give it a watch.
  • shameonpretzel
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    Yeah.

    I tried to read "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" this year. Twice. Couldn't do it. This is NOT the type of book and can just jump back into after leaving for a week. "Russia House" was a good book, but...ugh, the latter COULD. NOT. hold my attention.
    :/

    I digress. Good review FB - I think I'll give this movie a pass. Oscar-bait's too dry for my tastes.
  • Crazy R
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    How exactly is a spy thriller considered Oscar Bait?
  • The_Awesometeer
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    Maybe I'll put this book on my reading list
  • Redrally  - I saw this movie with my parents
    I agree with you on every point Matthew. I didn't find it at all hard to follow, partly because it forces you to not get too attached to the characters.

    I think this movie's just been so hyped up because those right-wing snobby critics are so happy to find a smart movie that doesn't involve action scenes, since for some reason they think action scenes dumb a movie down. Basically, the kind of crowd that picks the oscar winners.
  • anthonyrussell  - hmm...
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    Whilst I appreciate that opinions are like rear ends (in that everyone has one) I couldn't help but disagree with some of the conclusions you came to. I'll confess off the bat, I personally found this film brilliant. I watched the mini series on dvd before and loved that and that motivated me to watch the movie.

    Whilst I appreciate why people would not feel the potential suspects are underdeveloped and don't get enough screen time, the moles are not ultimately the focus of the story but Smiley himself and the journey he goes on. The hunt for the moles, the circus et. all are the world and the setting but ultimately Smiley is what we're after here.

    I don't necessarily agree that the suspects are underdeveloped because they don't require the same amount as other characters. This could explain why some people don't like what's done to them as all the suspects are played by brilliant actors and they don't get a great deal of screen time. Personally I feel we end up knowing what we need to know. We get the parts well acted which is important too but we can't bemoan not seeing much of them when they're of secondary importance.

    I also really thought the plot was easy to follow but having seen the mini series that's likely why. I thought the film was well paced all the way through as well.

    This movie got a lot of hype because it is stunning in how it's acted and how it looks. I don't think it was particularly marketed as an action movie but as one of intrigue. It's a slow burner, a movie that makes the audience pay attention to stay involved and personally we need more of that in cinema today. I'm all for escapism and a good laugh but cinema that makes me think will resonate more.

    This doesn't detract from the stunning (and ever improving) production values and well considered opinions that you put forward Matthew, I just didn't agree with you on this one.
  • Destroy
    Interesting that this film was directed by Tomas Alfredson, who directed Let the Right One In. You never would have guessed this would be his next film.
  • henscastle
    I agree with your analysis - the reveal was a huge letdown and I felt the story was oddly paced in places, destroying the sense of atmosphere that the film makers were trying to establish. I'm interested in watching the TV series to see how it was handled.
  • TheControversialReviewer
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    Before you watch this film, watch the BBC adaptation (you can find it on iTunes). The one weakness of the movie is if you haven't seen the BBC mini-series or watched the books, you don't really have enough time in the film to get to know the characters.

    I just finished the BBC adaptation and I enjoyed it more than the film, as it spent more time with the characters and their own personalities (also I think Alec Guinness is a better Smiley than Oldman - who plays him far too shut down).

    Its a good film, but one which will feel like there is something missing if you don't already know the story. The acting, cinematography and music is great, but some aspects of the script can seem unexplained.

    One last thing, Mark Strong stole the show for me, I wasn't expecting him to act as well as he did. It was really nice to see him playing a character who wasn't a 'hollywood baddy'. Its just a shame I think his performance will be lost in the Oldman Oscar hype.

    Edit: Having just finished watching your review, I have to agree with your points Film Brain. I didn't care about the pay off because the film didn't invest enough in the characters. Its the kind of film though which I do hope is a success, just so those involved can fix there mistakes when making the sequel.
  • BornIn1142
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    I can't really disagree with your assessment. One of the four potential moles was hardly seen in the movie, and it did seem to adapt only the broad strokes of a complex plot.

    That said, I DID "enjoy" it myself. I happened to see it at midnight, and the film totally grabbed hold of my attention. I never felt sleepy or bored, and I don't think I had any problems following any of its twists and turns. The flashbacks were actually pretty neatly telegraphed by Smiley having a different pair of glasses before. So yeah, I found it nothing but satisfying in the end.
  • NaomiHansen
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    Duly noted. Although I never watch TV or Youtube much these days and thus never even heard of the film, BBC mini-series, or the book, I'm at least interested in the book now. Maybe if I can find a time when I'm not bogged down by AP European History classwork or not reading fanfics, I can try reading it.
  • KAKnyght
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    It sounds like this is a movie that would benefit from an extended cut to better flesh out the details.
  • georgiahoosier
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    I'm still looking forward to seeing this because I always like performance pieces and because I'm a big Oldman fan.
    It's a shame that it apparently has been watered down.

    Interestingly enough to me, without any dialogue in the clips shown here, I couldn't get over how much Gary Oldman looks like the late JT Walsh in this character.
  • agrippa911
    avatar
    I'm in mixed minds about this movie. I've no doubt it has an amazingly strong cast but trying to condense TTSP into a 2hr movie means a lot of material is going to be cut or crammed like a hippo into spandex pants.

    I read the books first then saw the mini-series and agree, while Oldman is a top-notch actor, he's definitely NOT Smiley. He's in his sixties and egg-shaped, not like the lean manly Oldman (unless he puts on some kind of "fat-suit").

    As for the books (the trilogy of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People) I love them (mostly the first and third) but they're not for everyone. They move slowly and it's very introspective with almost no "action" scenes. So not for everyone's tastes.
  • Robotrix  - Watched this twice...
    Appreciate your views on this...still can't wait to see it when it finally comes out here in the States.

    But...did I hear you right? Had a little Novocaine that morning? "Cumberpatch" rather than Cumberbatch? Sounds like you said it that way twice.

    :-)
  • LikaLaruku
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    You can keep telling me he's Garry Oldman, it just doesn't look like him to me at all.

    Weirdest title ever much?
  • agrippa911
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    The title comes from a British(?) counting rhyme that goes "Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor, rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief."

    In the book/movie/mini-series, there's a suspected mole within the British secret service (the "Circus") and the suspects are narrowed down to 5 senior officers who are each assigned a code name during the investigation.
  • LikaLaruku
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    It's still a weird title.
  • aloof
    avatar
    haha funny thing, I was just wondering yesterday if FB were gonna do TTSS in the projector... and here it is. Unfortunately this movie doesn't come to my country until December. I mean really? It's like they don't want to make money!

    I'm hoping that I'm gonna like it. I've heard good things about it. It's got great actors. And it's got Hoyte van Hoytema!
  • Robotrix
    I'm going to call you "Mathew Puck" until you correct that pronunciation....

    :-p
  • baticus_moronicus
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    I saw this film yesterday, and though I could tell it was well acted and well executed, especially the settings, I couldn't understand the plot at all. :( I was a bit tired and not very alert when I saw it and probably would have done better seeing something a bit lighter, but there was nothing else good on. I felt like a bit of an idiot, but I just couldn't follow it at all.
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