Starring Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Hurt, David Dencik, Kathy Burke and Simon McBurney.
Directed by Tomas Alfredson.
Gary Oldman made his name by playing frenetic, over-the-top personalities (Sid & Nancy, Dracula, Immortal Beloved, True Romance) but he's reintroduced himself to a new generation as the mild-mannered Jim Gordon in the Dark Knight movies, and now here he is as George Smiley. Smiley barely moves, speaks low. He's a British gentleman. He's also one of the best spies in the world.
Smiley is brought out of retirement to help out. Seems there is a mole at the top. The boss is named Control (John Hurt), and Smiley is the only man he can trust with the job. Control knows it's one of his top four agents, and he gives each of them a nickname. Perhaps you've seen the title of the movie?
Smiley never shows what he is thinking, but to the scrutinizing audience, we can catch those glimpses of him locking information away.
It's based on the classic John le Carre spy novel, and it rewards the audience members that pay attention and leaves behind those that don't. As glued as I was to what was going on, even though there's very little actual action, I must admit that the reveal of the mole didn't have the emotional impact for me I'd hoped, I guess because it didn't make much difference in the grand scheme of things who the mole actually was.
Gary Oldman has never been nominated for an Academy award. That is not right.