Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciaran Hinds, Mark Strong, David Dencik, Kathy Burke, Stephen Graham, Simon McBurney…. Do I need to continue or are you already sold?
When it comes to making films today the best ensemble casts are wasted in movies like Ocean’s 13 or The Boat that Rocked. Well Tomas Alfredson has certainly not wasted the plethora of Oscar nominated talent at his disposal with his adaptation of John Le Carre’s famous spy novel: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Alfredson was always going to have the pressure on him with this one. When you get a novel as well-known, a cast as strong as his and one of the most memorable TV series ever screened you have to produce or you are dead in the water.
The narrative centres around George Smiley. Smiley, recently axed from the inner circle at the top of MI6, is suddenly asked to weed out a mole, believed by his previous boss (Hurt) to be one of the men he once sat with; code names: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier & Poor man (Smiley’s the Spy). What ensues is the ultimate tale of espionage during the cold war. We are not talking Sean Connery as James Bond fighting a bald guy with a white cat, no, we see the dirty underbelly of those men in tailored suits.
- [imagebrowser id=1]
We will not give anything away plot wise, for if someone had done to me before watching we think we would have chopped off their nuts, but critics have already began whispering that this is Oldman’s best chance of an Oscar and I completely agree. The character of Smiley demands so much out of an actor, Oldman had to be quiet yet powerful, polite yet ruthless, reserved yet passionate. Did this phase Oldman one iota? Of course not! Oldman was phenomenal, and with Cumberbatch by his side we saw the past and the future collide together in two awe-inspiring performances. Benedict Cumberbatch is a not quite an unknown in Cinema (Amazing Grace, Atonement) but is best known in the UK for his role as Sherlock Holmes in BBC drama: Sherlock. It would have been easy then, for Benedict to look slightly over-awed by the cast around him. This simply did not happen, Cumberbatch played Smiley point man perfectly, mixing respect and confidence to create the force that is Peter Guillam.
Colin Firth and Mark Strong’s performances are breathtaking not to mention Toby Jones showing us why he seems to have worked non stop for the last decade. Tom Hardy also showed us why he is one of the hottest names in cinema at the moment. This film could easily fill the entire nomination list for best supporting male on its own this year.
The first must-see movie of the Autumn and the first name on my oscar nomination prediction card. Five Stars all the way and a classic of the future! Watch it.