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Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy (Tomas Alfredson, 2011) [Archive] - DVD Talk Forum
 
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DVD Reviews

View Full Version : Tinker, Tailor Soldier, Spy (Tomas Alfredson, 2011)


NoirFan
07-11-09, 04:32 PM
From The Hollywood Reporter (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/film/news/e3i329b8458293daad41083f2c08da6fd22): Fresh from the success of highly acclaimed vampire movie "Let The Right One In," award-winning Swedish director Tomas Alfredson has signed on as director on Working Title upcoming project "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," the company announced Thursday.

The new feature film adaptation of John Le Carre's seminal cold war best-seller is being produced by Working Title's co-chairmen Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, and marks their next collaboration with Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Peter Morgan ("Frost/Nixon," "The Queen") and will be exec-produced by Debra Hayward, Liza Chasin, John Le Carre and Peter Morgan.

Set in the aftermath of the cold war, the thriller tells the tale of a spy-hunt within the highest echelons of the British Secret Intelligence Service.

A 1970s British television series starred Alec Guinness as George Smiley the retired former British intelligence officer called in to track down the double agent within the spy agency.

"Tomas is one of the most hotly sought-after and gifted directors in the industry at the moment and we're really looking forward to working with him on such an exciting project," said Bevan.

"The timing is right for a new screen version of 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' so it's great for us to be able to continue our creative collaboration with Peter Morgan on this and to have Tomas onboard who we've no doubt will bring a unique vision to the material."

Filming will take place in 2010 with Working Title's Debra Hayward overseeing the production.

islandclaws
07-11-09, 05:23 PM
I love spy films, and I loved LTROI, so this all sounds good to me. I hope he retains the use of the same cinematographer from that film as well.

riotinmyskull
06-30-11, 08:35 AM
<iframe width="560" height="349" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/UTrMc4bRcu0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Groucho
06-30-11, 09:10 AM
Geez...Benedict Cumberbatch is in everything lately!

Top-notch cast all-around.

Solid Snake
06-30-11, 09:23 AM
yeah...that cast is brutally solid.

sauce07
06-30-11, 10:29 AM
I get excited for anything with Tom Hardy, then you throw in the rest of the cast. I love spy movies, I love Cold War spy stories, I love the cast, this is a home run all around.

B5Erik
06-30-11, 10:57 AM
The original was pretty damned good, so this one's going to have a lot to live up to. That trailer, though, certainly indicates that it just may meet or exceed that original. Trailers can lie, but we'll find out soon enough just how good this one is.

JumpCutz
06-30-11, 08:32 PM
Looks intriguing. Seems like Colin Firth has gotten treatment for his stuttering problem. :thumbsup:

Supermallet
06-30-11, 08:35 PM
Looks great. Can't wait.

Solid Snake
06-30-11, 10:47 PM
The original was pretty damned good, so this one's going to have a lot to live up to. That trailer, though, certainly indicates that it just may meet or exceed that original. Trailers can lie, but we'll find out soon enough just how good this one is.

wait..what? This is a remake?

(checking out the details) Well I'll be damned...the BBC made a 7 part miniseries...Alec Guinness was in it too. Now I want to see this..but first...time to order the book from Amazon.

BDB
07-01-11, 01:24 AM
The miniseries is very slow going.

Solid Snake
07-01-11, 01:47 AM
The miniseries is very slow going.

slow? Slow as in..not boring, right?

B5Erik
07-01-11, 09:46 AM
Re: the BBC version: slow? Slow as in..not boring, right?

It is a bit slow. It's a very British production - they take their time telling the story. It is very, very well made. The acting and the direction are top notch. The editing could have been a bit tighter, though. But it's not boring.

The follow up, Smiley's People, was a little faster paced but still took it's time.

riotinmyskull
07-19-11, 11:46 PM
http://i53.tinypic.com/4ufedg.jpg

Solid Snake
07-20-11, 08:52 AM
me gusta

Solid Snake
08-04-11, 04:02 PM
new International Trailer...I'm digging it.

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The Bus
08-04-11, 09:14 PM
This looks fantastic.

islandclaws
08-05-11, 12:12 PM
Looks phenomenal. I'm a major fan of '70s conspiracy/spy films.

Solid Snake
08-16-11, 11:49 AM
alright....soooo...I needed my TTSS trailer fix...and well damnit. I think i'm going to read the books. Went Wikipedia crazy for a bit and the more I read the more fascinating this George Smiley (the Oldman character) became. Oh god...there's a very respectable amount of books there. Time to start buying and reading.

sleepyhead55
08-16-11, 10:58 PM
I read the book years ago so I don't actually remember much of it at all. The trailer looks solid and will probably watch this whenever it opens during the fall/winter.

Osiris3657
11-26-11, 06:15 PM
Bump. Comes out in a couple weeks (Dec 9th). Looking forward to it.

JumpCutz
11-26-11, 06:57 PM
Can't wait! :drool:

Rypro 525
11-26-11, 08:56 PM
had i not been lazy and bought tickets as soon as they went on sale, this was the final movie of the AFI Silver European festival, and Alfredson and Oldman were in attendance...

foofighters7
11-26-11, 10:28 PM
Been looking forward to this for quite awhile. Looks great.

Solid Snake
11-28-11, 07:49 PM
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jfoobar
11-28-11, 08:09 PM
With 41 reviews counted (although only 3 "top critics"), the RT score so far is 98%.

The Bus
12-31-11, 12:24 PM
Fantastically made movie but it's easily one of the most befuddling I've seen in years. There's too much to compress from the book, and a lot of things are not really explained well. I have to see it again to make sense of it.

bluetoast
12-31-11, 03:48 PM
Yeah it's definitely something I need to see again. Having to sit in the very front row did not help either. Ended up sitting on the stairs 3/4 of the way through, and my friend was standing next to me. That situation sucked.

SuckaMC
01-06-12, 04:18 PM
Great cast, well shot. But what a muddled mess. I really wanted to like this but it was just too dense for me... and I like me some intricate plotted movies.

Giles
01-06-12, 05:57 PM
I also didn't think the reveal was all that surprising- oh it's him... ho hum...

bluetoast
01-06-12, 11:53 PM
Yeah I also didn't know it had already been adapted before, and that people thought it couldn't be "done" in a 2 hour movie. That makes sense considering how dense the material is.

SuckaMC
01-07-12, 12:41 AM
I just really felt like a spectator watching this. Seemed like a lot of motivations, thoughts, and connections were made in the heads of the characters without giving the audience a chance to play along.

I guess I was hoping for something along the lines of Munich. Oooohhh well.

Patman
01-07-12, 02:03 AM
2-word review: Dreadfully droll

The film takes place in the early 1970s as a British spy vs. spy drama. The main head spy, Control (John Hurt), suspects a mole in his midst of 5 high level spies, and spy Smiley (Gary Oldman) is dismissed. Later, Smiley gets brought back in some oversight capacity to find the mole. Hilarity ensues.

And yes, I figured out the mole within 5 minutes of the film.

This film could have almost been given the "The Artist" treatment and done in the silent film genre because the director does rely a lot on visual information, and the script's dialogue doesn't quite given enough details or information on the prime mole suspects to generate any genuine investment in this spy hunt.

The trailers are far more entertaining than the actual film.

I give it 2.5 stars, or a grade of C+.

lisadoris
01-07-12, 01:31 PM
Saw this today and enjoyed it. Oldman gave a solid performance as usual. Now I want to see the BBC miniseries and read the novel. I have a couple of questions about the ending but I think I managed to follow the story.

maxfisher
01-09-12, 07:18 AM
The performances in this were great and I wasn't too bothered by how it was structured plot-wise. It jumps around quite a bit chronologically with little rhyme or reason, but all makes sense by the end. That said, it really could have done more to let the audience know the characters. It focuses so heavily on the plot, but never really sells why we should care about any of it. Which is really a shame given the level of talent and performances involved.

Dan
01-09-12, 10:49 PM
Very disappointed that this film hasn't come to my city as of yet. It doesn't appear to be on the "coming soon" list, either. :(

Solid Snake
01-09-12, 11:21 PM
Came here Friday. Going to see it on Thursday for student discount.

Noonan
01-16-12, 09:15 AM
Caught this one yesterday. Could someone who understood what was going on explain it a bit? I'm completely confused as to what happened and I'm guessing it'll be a while before it hits BD/DVD.

So Oldman ended up being the new controller; does that mean he was the mole all along? Why did the captured spy end up killing Colin Firth's character? How does that opening scene of the captured guy getting shot fit in to the whole story? How did the original controller die?

I'm usually good at keeping up with confusing story lines but this one was on another level. I can't even remember the names of most of the characters.

Dan
01-16-12, 07:36 PM
Yeah, my questions are all the same as yours, Noonan.

I really wanted to like this movie... but I didn't. There were some great moments, and Alfredson's style is beautiful... but I found it boring. And I loved The Good Shepard, Breach, and The American (movies that are "comparable" to this one, in some ways).

Noonan
01-16-12, 11:37 PM
The cinematography was great but it was too sporadic for its own good. It seemed like every scene had a profound meaning to the story but it was jumping from one to the next too quickly to be able to absorb what was going on. When the movie ended, my mind was still figuring out what happened in the first half.

bluetoast
01-16-12, 11:49 PM
Yeah this plot structure makes the first Mission Impossible look like Happy Gilmore. Might have to see this again...or read a detailed summary.

FinkPish
01-17-12, 12:09 AM
Caught this one yesterday. Could someone who understood what was going on explain it a bit? I'm completely confused as to what happened and I'm guessing it'll be a while before it hits BD/DVD.

So Oldman ended up being the new controller; does that mean he was the mole all along? Why did the captured spy end up killing Colin Firth's character? How does that opening scene of the captured guy getting shot fit in to the whole story? How did the original controller die?

I'm usually good at keeping up with confusing story lines but this one was on another level. I can't even remember the names of most of the characters.
No, Colin Firth's character (Haydon) was really the mole all along. The end with Smiley is just showing him becoming Control.

Haydon was killed by Mark Strong's character (Prideaux) because they were very close friends and Prideaux was angry at being fooled and lied to for so long (at least that's one theory).

Prideaux was sent to Hungary to explore the possibility of a high-ranking Hungarian general who was interested in defecting or sell information. He is shot, tortured and eventually brought back to England, but cannot re-enter the Circus. When Smiley talks with Prideaux, he finds out Prideaux's real mission, given to him by Control at the very beginning of the movie, was to find out who the mole was.

The original Control died of a heart attack in the hospital. There is a quick shot of him falling out of bed during the montage of Smiley reassuming his normal civilian life.

Noonan
01-17-12, 08:50 AM
Thanks. That helps; although I'm not sure how you came to those conclusions. I'll definitely have to watch it again when it hits disc.

mh4268
01-17-12, 09:32 AM
Haydon was killed by Mark Strong's character (Prideaux) because they were very close friends and Prideaux was angry at being fooled and lied to for so long (at least that's one theory).

Prideaux was sent to Hungary to explore the possibility of a high-ranking Hungarian general who was interested in defecting or sell information. He is shot, tortured and eventually brought back to England, but cannot re-enter the Circus. When Smiley talks with Prideaux, he finds out Prideaux's real mission, given to him by Control at the very beginning of the movie, was to find out who the mole was.

I also got a vibe that Haydon/Prideaux were lovers. I thought Prideaux told Haydon about his mission and killed Haydon because he realized he set him up and had him tortured.

My question is about Irina, I think that Smiley figured she was dead from Prideaux's torture story. He still has Tarr go to Paris to set up the mole knowing that the only reason he is risking his life (to free Irina) is pointless.

FinkPish
01-17-12, 12:33 PM
Thanks. That helps; although I'm not sure how you came to those conclusions. I'll definitely have to watch it again when it hits disc.
It's all pretty straight-forward though laid out in fairly subtle ways, which is one of the things I loved about this movie: it didn't stop the narrative to give the audience a bland scene of exposition; it assumed the audience was smart enough to follow. Watching it a second time does help though; there are a lot of people and motivations to keep track of.

FinkPish
01-17-12, 12:35 PM
My question is about Irina, I think that Smiley figured she was dead from Prideaux's torture story. He still has Tarr go to Paris to set up the mole knowing that the only reason he is risking his life (to free Irina) is pointless.
Oh yeah, Smiley definitely knew Irina was dead after hearing Prideaux's story, but only another setup coming from Tarr (who the Circus still thinks is a defector/rogue agent) will draw the mole out.

SuckaMC
01-17-12, 01:54 PM
It's all pretty straight-forward though laid out in fairly subtle ways, which is one of the things I loved about this movie: it didn't stop the narrative to give the audience a bland scene of exposition; it assumed the audience was smart enough to follow. Watching it a second time does help though; there are a lot of people and motivations to keep track of.

Well, I like to thing I'm pretty far from dumb and followed along with much more "complicated" plots before. If you want to have a twisty plot, great; but you still have to tell a story, especially in a movie like this.

Some movies work with the audience being a spectator only (Cloverfield), but some need to let the audience in on information.

A brief shot of Control falling out of bed (which must have been very brief because I don't remember it) really isn't enough for the end of a major character. I'd rather it happen off screen and have another character say "My God, man. Control is dead." Which in reality someone WOULD have said anyway, but for whatever reason, didn't.

Glad you liked it. It just did not work for me.

lisadoris
01-18-12, 09:03 AM
I also got a vibe that Haydon/Prideaux were lovers. I thought Prideaux told Haydon about his mission and killed Haydon because he realized he set him up and had him tortured.
That was my assumption as well.

Solid Snake
01-23-12, 08:15 PM
Not into Steelbooks too often but a neat and "calm" design...this is for the UK btw.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/tbwZzCeKDrk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/drRVC0wx_Mk" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
The Deluxe Collector's Edition includes:

- DVD
- Blu-ray
- Original Soundtrack
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy novel
- Bespoke notepad
- Bespoke playing cards
- Exclusive Gary Oldman's onset photographs
- Exclusive film cell

james2025a
01-25-12, 12:43 PM
2-word review: Dreadfully droll

And yes, I figured out the mole within 5 minutes of the film.



Thats a load of BS. You might have guessed who was the mole within 5 minutes, but you did not figure it out. You don't find out the story about the characters until way into the movie.

I enjoyed the movie because it gave me exactly what i anticipated going in. I had seen the old BBC TV show and kind of enjoyed it, but prefered the movie overall. The movie is very subdued and they capture the 70's perfectly (i imagine....just a child during the best part of them). I don't agree its a mess story wise, its just a movie where you have to pay 100% attention and stay with it. A lack of action set pieces and explosions/cgi are what gets rid of a lot of movie watchers these days as they are spoon fed crap Hollywood films that are made for morons. This movie is made for people who are actually interested in a story where they are expected to pay attention and not sit back and watch a spectacle of action extravaganza.

I think its a solid movie, but not a classic by any means. I would give it a 3.5/5 overall.

Matthew Chmiel
01-25-12, 01:44 PM
A question about the film I had after watching it:

In the film's timeline, where does the Christmas party take place? Both my friend and I couldn't decide on:
It took place in between Control giving Prideaux his mission to Hungary and actually leaving, thus explaining why Prideaux is crying when looking at Haydon (knowing that his best friend maybe/is the spy).
Before that, thus explaining Prideaux is crying because he knows his lover (Haydon) is cheating on him with Smiley's wife. Because, like everyone else, Prideaux and Haydon's relationship gave off a bromance vibe.

I went in last night expecting a great film and ended up receiving only a good film. The film was well acted and Alfredson knows how to make what should be a boring film stand out, bit at times felt too high concept for its own good. The editing sends large amounts of information out all over the place and its easy to see why people are getting confused. I do disagree with some comments that the film needed to slow down and explain such bits of information like Control's death. If you didn't get it that Control and Smiley were kicked out of the Circus and Control is now dead within that opening credits montage, that's your cue to leave the theater as this wasn't the film for you. Other times, I felt there could've been a few scenes removed for pacing's sake, such as:

When Smiley tells Peter to wrap up his ties as the Circus is now onto him, I felt the following scene of Peter breaking up with his gay lover was unnecessary and not crucial to the story. Now if he was breaking up with his gay, Russian lover; then yes, I might've understood that one.
Once the actual reveal of the spy is made, it's more of a, "Really? Is that it?" reaction than one that should've had more gravitas to it based upon the build up the film had already established. However, I loved the film's final moments using Julio Iglesias' rendition of La Mer as the characters' fates were sealed.

Don't get me wrong as I thought Tinker Tailor Solider Spy was a good film, but it's not a great film.

Burnt Thru
01-25-12, 03:01 PM
A question about the film I had after watching it:

In the film's timeline, where does the Christmas party take place? Both my friend and I couldn't decide on:
It took place in between Control giving Prideaux his mission to Hungary and actually leaving, thus explaining why Prideaux is crying when looking at Haydon (knowing that his best friend maybe/is the spy).
Before that, thus explaining Prideaux is crying because he knows his lover (Haydon) is cheating on him with Smiley's wife. Because, like everyone else, Prideaux and Haydon's relationship gave off a bromance vibe.


I don't think they really had a full on gay relationship in the sense we think of it nowadays. More of a daliance in the vein of upperclass boys exploring their sexuality and friendships. A bit like women having a lez experience at college.


When Smiley tells Peter to wrap up his ties as the Circus is now onto him, I felt the following scene of Peter breaking up with his gay lover was unnecessary and not crucial to the story. Now if he was breaking up with his gay, Russian lover; then yes, I might've understood that one.
Being gay was seen as a sign of weakness at the time which might have left someone vulnerable to being manipulated. Therefore people hid it and were consequently ripe to be blackmailed. As such gay people were not considered a good investment in the spy game back in those days. The series of British double agents who betrayed their country and were also gay (and from Oxbridge) was probably an important bit of background to that particular scene.

BTW I agree with your assessment that it was a good but not great film. What a cast though. Almost perfect, in fact. But it was a shame that Cieran Hinds wasn't given something more interesting to do as he's a favourite of mine.

Matthew Chmiel
01-25-12, 05:53 PM
Being gay was seen as a sign of weakness at the time which might have left someone vulnerable to being manipulated. Therefore people hid it and were consequently ripe to be blackmailed. As such gay people were not considered a good investment in the spy game back in those days. The series of British double agents who betrayed their country and were also gay (and from Oxbridge) was probably an important bit of background to that particular scene.
I didn't know this particular fact about British double agents, so thank you. However, the scene doesn't impact the film in any particular way. If the two minute segment was left on the cutting room floor, nobody would've known differently. There were a few of these moments scattered throughout that could've been removed to make a tighter film.

BTW I agree with your assessment that it was a good but not great film. What a cast though. Almost perfect, in fact. But it was a shame that Cieran Hinds wasn't given something more interesting to do as he's a favourite of mine.
It's crazy that Michael Fassbender, David Thewlis and Jared Harris all had to bail out due to scheduling conflicts. However, in terms of Fassbender and Harris, we got Hardy and Jones instead.

The only thing missing making the cast perfect was Bill Nighy.

Hmmm...

Fuck it. I'm going to Working Title to pitch a satire of the film with Nighy playing the Smiley character. The Brits will eat it up!

Burnt Thru
01-26-12, 02:21 AM
I didn't know this particular fact about British double agents, so thank you. However, the scene doesn't impact the film in any particular way. If the two minute segment was left on the cutting room floor, nobody would've known differently. There were a few of these moments scattered throughout that could've been removed to make a tighter film.
Yeah, it was more of a background feeling (or setting) scene for the movie. It did provide some reference point for the need of the real mole to keep his gay daliance secret though. For Cumberbutch I thought it was a great moment for his character and showed his devotion to Smiley.


It's crazy that Michael Fassbender, David Thewlis and Jared Harris all had to bail out due to scheduling conflicts. However, in terms of Fassbender and Harris, we got Hardy and Jones instead.
Wasn't aware that those actors had to drop out - crazy, crazy cast! The Guiness TV series must have a great reputation still.

The only thing missing making the cast perfect was Bill Nighy.

Hmmm...

Fuck it. I'm going to Working Title to pitch a satire of the film with Nighy playing the Smiley character. The Brits will eat it up!
:lol: Nighy is absolute gold over here, no doubt about it. Think it must be a little confusing to him considering how late it has come in his career.

BTW Bill played Smiley (effectively) last year in a TV movie called Page Eight. It's similar to Tinker Tailer in many ways and about as good. I'd recommend it if you haven't seen it already.

mdc3000
01-26-12, 08:50 AM
Wow - this movie was excruciatingly slow. I didn't have a hard time following the main threads of the story, but felt they were all presented so flatly, I never really got into it. The characters weren't engaging, we don't know enough about anyone to really care and the mystery of the mole is unspooled so slowly, that by the time we came to the conclusion, it wasn't riveting satisfaction I was feeling but relief. Relief that the movie was over. Oldman was fine, but out of his STELLAR body of work, THIS is what gets him the Oscar nod? This quiet, whispering in a trenchcoat dullard? Fuck.

It does have a phenomenal cast and there were some great scenes, but overall a major disappointment to me. I love spy flicks but this has to rank as one of the most boring movies on the subject ever. If anyone thought 'The Debt' earlier this year was on the slow side, look out.

zekeburger1979
01-26-12, 12:29 PM
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: A Guide for the Perplexed (http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2012/01/23/tinker-tailor-a-guide-for-the-perplexed/)

It seems everyone here was confused about what exactly happened in this movie. Roger Ebert tweeted this link a while ago and I thought I would share it here. I can't wait for the BD to come out so I can buy and watch this movie a couple more times. The more I think about it, the more it sinks in.

Oh yeah, Gary Oldman finally has an Oscar nomination! Woohoo!

Matthew Chmiel
01-26-12, 02:15 PM
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: A Guide for the Perplexed (http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2012/01/23/tinker-tailor-a-guide-for-the-perplexed/)

It seems everyone here was confused about what exactly happened in this movie. Roger Ebert tweeted this link a while ago and I thought I would share it here. I can't wait for the BD to come out so I can buy and watch this movie a couple more times. The more I think about it, the more it sinks in.
Just finished reading the article and wow. I'm appreciating the film a bit more now after reading that.

Thanks! :thumbsup:

wendersfan
01-26-12, 03:13 PM
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: A Guide for the Perplexed (http://www.davidbordwell.net/blog/2012/01/23/tinker-tailor-a-guide-for-the-perplexed/)

It seems everyone here was confused about what exactly happened in this movie. Roger Ebert tweeted this link a while ago and I thought I would share it here. I can't wait for the BD to come out so I can buy and watch this movie a couple more times. The more I think about it, the more it sinks in.

Oh yeah, Gary Oldman finally has an Oscar nomination! Woohoo!
I loved the movie, but I've also read the novel several times, and seen the miniseries. I sat through the movie wondering how in the hell anyone who's not read the book could possibly get what was going on.

DonnachaOne
01-26-12, 03:57 PM
I felt that I had understood the film fine, and like David Bordwell alludes to, I felt the film was more concerned with how the tendrils of the spy game permeates the sad lives of all involved, and not so much with solving the mystery. Still, his essay made for brilliant reading, and the fact that I missed so many of those details makes me look forward to a repeat viewing all the more.

Osiris3657
02-05-12, 03:49 PM
I thought this film was really good. I was never bored at any point like others who disliked it. I thought it was an intriguing premise that was skillfully put together.

Daytripper
02-08-12, 01:32 PM
Wow - this movie was excruciatingly slow. I didn't have a hard time following the main threads of the story, but felt they were all presented so flatly, I never really got into it. The characters weren't engaging, we don't know enough about anyone to really care and the mystery of the mole is unspooled so slowly, that by the time we came to the conclusion, it wasn't riveting satisfaction I was feeling but relief. Relief that the movie was over. Oldman was fine, but out of his STELLAR body of work, THIS is what gets him the Oscar nod? This quiet, whispering in a trenchcoat dullard? Fuck.

It does have a phenomenal cast and there were some great scenes, but overall a major disappointment to me. I love spy flicks but this has to rank as one of the most boring movies on the subject ever. If anyone thought 'The Debt' earlier this year was on the slow side, look out.

"The Debt" was a roller coaster ride compared to this film. And honestly, I didn't even find that movie slow. But this? Agree with everything you said.

RoadToPerdition
03-03-12, 11:18 PM
Saw this today and I have no clue what happened for about 75% of the movie. I haven't read through this whole thread to see if people were as confused as I was, but I feel like I was fully engaged and paying attention to the movie and still had no idea what was going on. The two other people I saw it with were in a similar boat. I enjoyed the last 20 minutes or so but besides that... disappointingly bad.

EDIT: Okay, read through the thread and glad to see I was by far not the only confused moviegoer. Also, I notice people commenting about the gay relationship, but wasn't it Cumberbatch's character that was obviously gay? Wasn't there a scene where he broke up with his live-in partner or am I confused about that scene, too?

HistoryProf
03-04-12, 12:53 AM
just a voice to offset the complaints: this is #2 on my top ten for 2011 list (behind Le Havre and ahead of Drive) and I loved every frame. I had seen the original mini series, so that helped, but also absolutely love Cold War stories in general. I didn't have any particular problems following along...but again I knew the general arc so I had that going for me. As a construction, I think it is absolutely brilliant, and don't see how it could have been made any better given the source material. And Gary Oldman blew me away - I was skeptical of his casting as Smiley, but he was utterly phenomenal. he deserved the best actor oscar.

If you like spy thrillers see this film.

bluetoast
03-04-12, 01:49 AM
I really want to see this again. My theatrical experience was abysmal, trying to follow along on top of that was even worse.

Solid Snake
03-04-12, 08:59 AM
why was it abysmal?

bluetoast
03-04-12, 04:21 PM
Long post alert.

Okay first of all I went to go pick up my friend to see it. He had already seen it, and was interested in going again. The movie starts in like 10 minutes, and I'm at his place, we're probably 20 min away minimum, and on top of that we have to park, and this is in D.C., so that's not the easiest thing to do on the fly. I'm like "Maybe some other time, or another movie at the same place, because we're really cutting it" but we end up agreeing to go.

So we had some adventures driving around going in and out of a parking lot where I find out the prices were through the roof, before actually getting a good spot on the street. Of course at this point the movie had already started. So we had maybe an hour or so before the next showing....

So now we figured that we could buy our tickets, then eat somewhere. So we got a meal, then went to the theater, got some concessions....and realized...holy shit, the only seats available were in the FRONT. And it's not like we arrived when the actual movie began, this was when the first trailer was starting. Also this was before it got the wide release, so I can understand crowds, BUT, it was on December 30 (just glanced at my ticket stub), not a weekend, and this was a small screen. I guess the holiday crowd was in full swing.

Fine. That kind of sucks, but okay. It also had subtitles at the beginning if I remember, so that's also no fun to read in the first row. For a bit, my friend was talking with me about the idea of sitting in the aisle. Then, midway through, my friend realized that the parking spot that I got earlier was about to run out, so he himself wanted to pay, so I got my keys out and he left for a while. So that was in the back of my head while watching, like "damn, he's been gone a while, where did he go, also I hope I didn't get a ticket." Then he shows up like 20 minutes later and proposes we sit in the aisles to get a better seat. I finally agree....

And we go sit in the aisle. Nope, actually first we stand for like 20 minutes, and then I'm finally like "fuck standing" and sit down on the stairs near the aisles, while he stands for the whole remainder of the movie. There was also another dude also standing there, so it wasn't just us who thought the aisles were better than the actual seats.

On top of all that this movie wasn't exactly Transformers, so pretty much every time that I turned around, sat down, looked away, or got interrupted, I would be missing key info.

So in conclusion, I would definitely like to see it again in a more relaxed setting.