Movie: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
What it’s up for: Actor in a Leading Role (Gary Oldman), Score, Adapted Screenplay
I’m gonna take a not-so-wild shot and guess that I’m the only one of my acquaintances that has seen this movie. What an interesting ride it was. There are a lot of things I like about this movie. Unfortunately, a lot of what I liked is drowned out by a REALLY complicated plot.
The movie is based on a British spy novel of the same name from the 70s. I think the book would actually be a pretty good read. Going into the movie, it would’ve helped me to know a little bit more about the spy game during the Cold War than I did. That being said, if you pay close enough attention – and can get through the first half an hour or so -, you can follow it well enough to enjoy it. Especially pay attention to the names of the characters. That’s really important. Anyway, the main plot of the movie is that there is a suspected mole in the highest office of the British secret service and Gary Oldman’s character (George Smiley) has to figure out who it is.
Gary Oldman was fanfreakingtastic. The acting in this movie relied heavily on the actors’ abilities to act using much more than just their words. There was actually a lot of silence in the film which was really interesting. Oldman owned his character completely. He covered a vast range of emotions while maintaining a cool, calm and almost monotone visage throughout the entire movie. I’m pretty sure he only raised his voice once.
The movie itself was artfully done. It’s set in the 70s and the attention to detail in even the most minor parts of the setting made you believe it was the 70s. (At one point, there’s a graffiti slogan on a fence that says “The Future is Female”.) From set pieces to the hair, it was very thorough. This was especially important for the screenplay. The plot was pushed forward primarily through shot framing, scene transitions, and creative cinematography. It had a very interesting feel to it, which only contributed to the depth of the movie itself. There were a lot of little details in the shots throughout the movie that turned out to be very important later on.
The score was fabulous. Very 70s and very mysterious. I didn’t think it was too memorable though. If I heard a sound bite from it out of context, I probably wouldn’t be able to remember what it was from (unlike The Social Network or Inception).
Leading actor: Very possible. I haven’t seen the other actors yet though to really make a prediction. But he played is part SO well.
Score: Unlikely (although it was still great).
Adapted screenplay: I honestly think it’s unlikely, even though the shot framing was so unique. The fact that the script itself was so hard to follow is problematic.