Directed by Tomas Alfredson
Screenplay by Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan
Based on the novel by John le Carré
Stars: Gary Oldman, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Colin Firth, David Dencik, Ciarán Hinds, Benedict Cumberbatch, Simon McBurney, Tom Hardy, Konstantin Khabenskiy and Mark Strong
I was eagerly anticipating seeing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy because of the director, Tomas Alfredson. He made the fantastic Let the Right One In and I wanted to see his first English language film. Another incentive to see Gary Oldman finally get some notice for his acting when he received a Best Actor nomination. The film also received nominations for Best Original Score and Best Adapted Screenplay. I thought I would rave about the film, but I do not.
During the time of the Cold War, MI-6 is rocked when one of their agents, Jim Prideaux (Strong) is killed on a mission in Budapest. Control (Hurt) gets the top brass of the agency together to see who is the mole selling secrets to the Russians. Control assigns the task to sniff out the traitor to George Smiley (Oldman), who is retired.
The story seems simple enough that it doesn't need the over the top plot twist that could be seen a mile away. It didn't know that the movie was a whodunit. It made the reveal anti-climatic. I did not see the original Tinker Tailor Solider Spy miniseries. You don't need to see the British series or read the book to see who the mold was. I knew the mole halfway through the movie.
I wanted to love this film, but I felt completely bored. I was confused with the flashbacks to a Christmas party, a subplot of a missing woman that went nowhere, etc. Hearing a bunch of British accents can be difficult for Americans to decipher. I expected more out of the film when it got a 85 Metacritic score. A lot more.