tinker-tailor-soldier-spy-poster


SPYING QUALITY

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy starring Gary Oldman in the George Smiley role, feels like a film from a different era. The TV adaptation starring Alec Guinness was set in a world where England and America were playing a game of espionage against the Russians in a period when one side may have blown the other to kingdom come (or that’s how it felt at the time). There are no jump cuts, people don’t leap through the air followed by explosions and you don’t get knife fights or pursuits over the rooftops of particularly picturesque Moroccan houses. Oldman doesn’t even speak for about the first twenty minutes of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy but his presence is feel nonetheless. The plot is labyrinthine, about a Russian traitor in the British secret service and the lengths that Smiley and his colleagues go to to expose and flush the Judas out. Oldman is brilliantly understated here with every nuance serving a purpose on screen. He is assisted by a very competent supporting cast that includes Colin Firth, playing a little against type but displaying a little more range than usual, the ubiquitous Mark Strong (who shows that he is more than just the comedically sinister villain for Hollywood movies), Benedict Cumberbatch and Ciaran Hinds. Even small cameos by actors like Stephen Graham and Roger Lloyd Pack lend something to the overall mix. Director Tomas Alfredson (Let The Right One In) has a very steady hand here, letting the performances speak for themselves. He also recreates 1970s London (and a few other places) with rare skill and attention to detail, with the help of production designer Maria Djurkovic. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a classic British spy film with some exceptional performances and assured directing. It should be remembered by posterity as it makes the case that not all remakes have to be inferior. Deserving of many awards when the season kicks off later in the year…






VAUXHALL AND I
Last Sunday because the weather was very nice again, I decided to go down to Vauxhall Bridge to reshoot it with my SLR for the Bridges book. I last shot the bridge back in January 2006 (check out http://www.pmkane.com/bb/JM_Blog_3.htm which was in my old blog location to see just how filthy my Converse got wandering along the ‘beach’ near the bridge). The tide was too high this time so no such luck again but here are a few photos for you including one of MI6 headquarters at Vauxhall Bridge from the north side. Next post will be something on Open House weekend, which happened the weekend of 20th to 21st September…