Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

So I saw this yesterday.

So who wins the contest of the critics?

David Stratton on  At the Movies and in The Oz heaped it with praise and a rare five stars.

DAVID: Well, I had no qualms about it whatsoever. It’s an impeccable cast. It’s so beautifully done and I love the way that it keeps that sense of humour.
MARGARET: It’s such a male world, though, David. There’s barely a woman in sight.
DAVID: Well, that’s true but that is the world of spies, at least in the 1970s, so you can’t change that.
MARGARET: Yes. Yep.
DAVID: Look, this is another five star film for me. It’s a perfect film, I think.
MARGARET: David, you’re going overboard.
DAVID: Only when I see great films.
MARGARET: I’m giving it four.

On the other hand Peter Craven saw The Tinker Tailor turkey!

… It is a crime to reduce Le Carre to this futile waste of art house drek. It really does seem that the critics are in the thrall of some collective delusion. It is as if some mole has got into their midst and is working for the other side. Whatever that might be: the dark force which works against entertainment in the name of the free variations of an arthouse cinema.

But Tinker, Tailor is, needless to say, both much worse and much less endurable than a middling serious film.

It really does seem that no one realised you would need a very tight, almost play-like script, densely verbal but very economical, if you were ever to film such a complexly plotted spy novel in two and a bit hours…

It will be fascinating to see if the critics’ crazy overvaluing of this bucket of laboured shlock prevails or if enough of the punters vote with their feet and put off their friends…

To be honest, I never did really know what was going on in any version of this tale – at least not until it was all over! That remains true of this version. However, I do side with David Stratton on this occasion. I found it a sheer joy to watch – if that is not a bit of a perverse word for something so beautifully drab!

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