Monday, September 5, 2011

Venice Review Round-Up: "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy"

Ever since its brilliant first trailer, Tomas Alfredson's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, an adaptation of John Le Carre's spy novel, has been at the top of my most anticipated list for the rest of the year. In addition to Alfredson himself, whose last film was the excellent Let the Right One In (2008), the film boasts an incredible ensemble led by Gary Oldman. The vibe given off by the promotional materials is filled with a quiet sense of dread, menace, and paranoia, which fits perfectly with the story's Cold War setting. So, needless to say, I was both excited and nervous about the film's world premiere at Venice. Thankfully, Alfredson's film, his first English-language feature, is getting off to an excellent start, one that positions the film as one of the top contenders for The Golden Lion:

The London Evening Standard - Derek Malcolm (4/5 stars): " effective celebration of Le Carre's artful story-telling, acted by one and all with with a quiet panache that strikes home."

The Telegraph - David Gritten (5/5 stars): "[Alfredson] captures scenes with silky fluidity...finding a visual equivalent to the story's hunt for complex solutions." " makes your heart pound, gets your pulses racing, and sends your brain cells into overdrive."

Variety - Leslie Felperin (N/A): "An inventive, meaty distillation of Le Carre's 1974 incisive examination of Cold War ethics, rich in both contempo resonance and elegiac melancholy."

Thompson on Hollywood - Matt Mueller (N/A): "...contains a clutch of nail-biting sequences and features a razor-sharp turn from Gary Oldman..." "...settles for being a very good as opposed to a superb spy thriller."

The Guardian - Xan Brooks (4/5 stars): "Oldman gives a deliciously delicate, shaded performance..." "If there is any flaw to the film, it is that the whistle is blown too soon..." "...[the film] is more about the journey than the destination; more fascinated with detail than the denouement."

Time Out London - Dave Calhoun (4/5 stars): "...Alfredson ('Let the Right One In') blows a fresh air of continental style into Le Carre's story without harming the 1970s British period feel of his source material." "The new a marvel of wise and respectful adaptation."

The Hollywood Reporter - Deborah Young (N/A): " visually absorbing, felicitous shot after shot, that its emotional coldness is noticed only at the end..."

IndieWire - Oliver Lyttelton (A): "...incredibly rich and perfectly constructed..."

Venice Verdict: A slick, well-acted, and intellectually stimulating Cold War thriller, as well as a successful adaptation of Le Carre's labyrinthine novel.

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