A Different Take at the Movies: Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

I’m not going to write a review of this movie because frankly, it’s been done and I’m not interested in adding to the argument of whether it was a crap movie or not.

What I am interested in are two things:

  1. For those who thought the movie was boring, I can understand. There was a moment when I looked at my watch and thought, “How much time have we got left?” But I realized that if you did that, you missed out on some acting genius. The scene where Oldman’s character, George Smiley talked about the elusive Karla is absolutely sublime. The focus on the side of his face. The lighting. If you think about it, it is really hard to act with only a sliver of your face showing. The limited window of expression was really skillfully used and filled.
  2. Did anyone else catch the gay subtext or was I just imagining it? Between Colin Firth’s character, Bill Haydon, and Mark Strong’s Jim Prideaux. The whole “I’ve known a lot of Bills in my time. They’ve all been good ones.” “Tell your superiors what will happen to them if they harm one hair on his head,” from Colin Firth. The assassination scene and the anguish of Jim when he has to go kill Bill.

The speed of the film reminded me a lot of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”. Both were poetic and painted a lot of very sad portraits of tormented souls.

I love movies and when I get to know a movie, it becomes a bit like a person to me. If I like that person well enough, I end up becoming a very good friend and will fight nail and tooth for it. I feel like people didn’t give “Tinker” very much of a chance and just wrote it off as uneventful. But sometimes I end up being the friend of the not-so-popular kid at school.

And my friend’s been taking a lot of shit so someone’s gotta step in.

Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Gary Oldman in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”. Brilliantly dark and worth paying attention to.


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