Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John Le Carré’s acclaimed bestseller, which unfolds at the height of the cold war, is transformed into an immaculately-produced, all-star thriller.
Gary Oldman is perfect as Le Carré’s most famous character, George Smiley. (He is as good, if not better, than Alec Guinness’ small-screen take on the role.) Smiley has been forced into semi-retirement in order to uncover the identity of the double agent deep in the heart of British intelligence. He’s aided by an accomplished young agent and another who has gone rogue (Benedict Cumberbatch and Tom Hardy, both in scene-stealing performances), along with a veteran assistant (Cathy Burke). All the while, those under suspicion manoeuvre and jockey to ensure Smiley’s investigation doesn’t implicate them. Tomas Alfredson previously directed the excellent Swedish vampire hit Let the Right One In and he brings some of that film’s wintery atmosphere to the halls of British power as the intrigue deepens. But for all the director’s style and the presence of a stunning support cast (which also includes Colin Firth, Mark Strong and Toby Jones), this is ultimately Oldman’s show and he shows why he is one of the most respected actors of his generation.