Thursday, 8 September 2011

Movies to Look Forward to: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy [Updated]

[Updated with the newly released US Trailer... it sent chills down my spine!]

The other day I posted the Paul Smith-designed posters for Thomas Alfredson's much anticipated new film, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Briefly summarised, it is an espionage thriller set in the bleak days of the cold war, where a former secret agent (George Smiley, played by Gary Oldman) is brought out of retirement in order to help root out a soviet mole within the upper echelons of MI:6.

To find out exactly why this is my second most anticipated film of 2011, and why it should definitely be high up on your list, hit the jump.

The Director
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is the English language debut of Swedish director Thomas Alfredson, whose last film was Let the Right One In (2008). Now, if you haven't seen it, then get thee to a nunnery! It was my number 1 film of last year, and still one of the best I have ever seen (you can buy it on Loot). Critics and audiences alike have been salivating at the thought of what could be Alfredson's next film. And wow, he took his time and went big.

The Cast
 Probably one of the best male british casts one could ever assemble:
  • Gary Oldman (who has said that this is the greated role he has ever played)
  • Colin Firth (Oscar anyone?)
  • Tom Hardy (one of the greatest up and coming actors, who deserves an article on his own. He was Eames in Inception and is the villain Bane in Christopher Nolan's much anticipated The Dark Knight Rises)
  • John Hurt (awesome leathery British character actor - think V for Vendetta and Harry Potter (Olivander))
  • Toby Jones (another great character actor - most recently seen in Captain America: the First Avenger)
  • Mark Strong (fast becoming the perpetual villain - think Kick-Ass, Sherlock Holmes and Green Lantern)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (he is going to be the voice of Smaug in The Hobbit. 'Nuff said.)
The Story
The film is based on the beloved spy thriller by John Le CarrĂ©, as adapted for the screen by Peter Straughan, who has been receiving rave reviews for the script. I'm not an expert on Le CarrĂ©, so I will rather not say much.  However, from what I have been reading, it is a great story - one of the best in the genre.

The Buzz
 After premiering at the Venice Film Festival on Monday night, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy has been getting nothing but glowing reviews.  Currently, its Rottentomatoes rating is 100% Fresh. Here is what some critics had to say:

"It is one of the few films so visually absorbing, felicitous shot after shot, that its emotional coldness is noticed only at the end, when all the plot twists are unraveled in a solid piece of thinking-man's entertainment for upmarket thriller audiences." - Deborah Young, the Hollywood Reporter.

"Prepare to lose yourself - in every sense - in a labyrinth of double-agents, deception and damn fine acting from the year's best British line-up. Oldman at least deserves the Oscar nod he's been long denied." - Matthew Leyland, Total Film.

"This exquisitely directed, wonderfully acted old-school thriller is a major all-rounder Awards contender, and just might secure Gary Oldman that nomination he's been deserving for so many years." - Shaun Munro, What Culture.

From the above reviews at least, it seems like a major awards contender. However, some of the more well known Oscar pundits haven't really been listing it as a Best Picture contender at this stage already, but it is still early days. Maybe the general perception is that it might be a little too sophisticated for the Academy (you know, they like simple movies like The King's Speech). However, the Toronto film festival is still to come, so it may build some further buzz over there. At least Gary Oldman seems sure of a long overdue Oscar nomination at this stage.

The Trailer
All the buzz and raves in the world can't get you excited for a movie unless the movie itself excites you. So check out the UK trailer below and see what you think.

US Trailer:

The Posters
A great poster is worth a thousand words, and these certainly don't disappoint...

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