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Venice '11 Review: 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' Is A Remarkable, Quietly Devastating Spy Movie

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 5, 2011 12:33 PM
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  • 11 Comments
The spy genre, is generally speaking, a euphemism for 'action movie' -- look at the explosions, fistfights and car chases of the Bond films, of the 'Mission: Impossible' series, of the 'Bourne' franchise, none of which have much in the way of actual tradecraft. The business of being a spy is hard, boring work, made up of listening and talking and without a lot of glamor. One of the men who best understands this is novelist John Le Carré, himself a former spy, who for close to half a century has been behind some of the most acclaimed literary examples of the genre. But aside from the much-loved "The Spy Who Came In From the Cold," and the more recent "The Constant Gardener" (the latter not strictly speaking an espionage picture), his works haven't had a huge amount of success on the big screen, lacking the speedboats and fireballs of Ian Fleming or Robert Ludlum. One of the writer's best-known books is "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," the first of the 'Karla' trilogy, which focuses on George Smiley, a middle-aged veteran of 'The Circus' (Le Carré's term for the British intelligence services) and his rivalry with his Soviet counterpart Karla. Working Title Films has spent the last couple of years on a new cinematic take with Tomas Alfredson, director of the much-acclaimed "Let the Right One In," making his English-language debut at the helm. It's no small undertaking, considering that the novel was previously adapted as a much-loved, seven-part, 290-minute BBC miniseries, headed up by an indelible performance from the great Alec Guinness. Alfredson might have assembled an all-star cast of British talent to bring the book to life, but could the company, led by Gary Oldman taking up Smiley's thick glasses, hope to match their predecessors? And could the film manage to keep the plot coherent and thrilling at a running time less than half of what the TV take had to play with?

Watch: John Hurt Wants To Find The Rotten Apple In Clip From ‘Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy’

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 2, 2011 12:04 PM
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  • 1 Comment
The wait may be long -- the film has now moved from November to a December release date for those of us stateside -- but our excitement hasn't diminished for “Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy.” So far we've gotten some ace trailers and a handful of pics, but today, Empire has unveiled the first clip from the film and it's impressive.

Oh Great, Now We're Going To Have To Wait Even Longer For 'Tinker Tailor Solider Spy'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 29, 2011 7:02 AM
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  • 6 Comments
But At Least We Can Listen To The Score To Tide Us OverIs there any film this fall bigger than "Tinker Tailor Solider Spy"? Awards talk is already growing around Gary Oldman and with the film set to premiere in Venice in just a matter of days, the buzz is only going to get louder for the film is going to be a major player at the Oscars. While those in the U.K. will be lucky to enough to see the film when it opens on September 16th, Focus Features is testing the patience of those of us stateside as they've pushed back the date from the planned November 18th release date three more weeks to December 9th. The eagle eyed RopeOfSilicon noticed the date change that was confirmed by Pete Hammond over at Deadline in the midst of his latest awards season update.

John le Carré Makes A Cameo In 'Tinker Tailor Solider Spy'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 23, 2011 4:22 AM
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  • 1 Comment
The anticipation for "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" was building long before any of the exciting trailers for the film had arrived, and the reason is pretty clear. With "Let The Right One In" director Tomas Alfredson tackling John le Carré's classic novel with an insanely great cast that includes Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ciaran Hinds, Mark Strong, Svetlana Khodchenko, Toby Jones, John Hurt, Stephen Graham and Kathy Burke, how is it possible not to be anticipating the film? With its Venice premiere just around the corner, and U.K. release following shortly thereafter, it looks like the man whose novel served as the source material is receiving some big screen recognition.

Weapon & Tagline Wielding 'Machine Gun Preacher' Poster; Cast Gets Coded In 'Tinker Tailor' Posters

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 16, 2011 9:52 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Feel the heat? That's Oscar fever son, and if you had any doubt that "Machine Gun Preacher" was going for the gold, check out the tagline on the newly launched poster: HOPE IS THE GREATEST WEAPON OF ALL. Coupled with a buff, machine gun wielding Gerard Butler standing in front of a small African child, that should warm the cockles of the old timers in the Academy who will probably start receiving For Your Consideration stuff with this stamped all over it any day now.

Empire Big Screen '11: First Footage From 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' Is Flat-Out Terrific

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • August 12, 2011 3:07 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Plus Glimpses Of 'Contraband,' 'The Raven' & 'Immortals'After a mixed summer ("Fast Five" and "Bridesmaids" performed well over expectations, "Cowboys and Aliens" well under them), it's interesting to see where Universal goEs from here, considering recent changes in management and all. They've got a fairly strong commercial line-up heading into the end of 2011 and the start of 2012, and gave punters a first look at many of those films in London's O2 arena as part of the Empire Big Screen event.

Watch: 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ Gets Another Terrific Trailer

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • August 4, 2011 1:45 AM
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  • 11 Comments
What is there really left to say that we haven't already said about "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy"? Featuring a fantastic cast, with "Let The Right One In" director Tomas Alfredson making his English language debut, each successive look at the film keeps getting better and better, and this newest trailer pretty much puts it over the top for us.

'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,' 'A Dangerous Method,' 'Carnage,' 'Shame,' 'Alps' Lead Venice Line-Up

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 28, 2011 11:08 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Todd Solondz's 'Dark Horse,' Sam Worthington Starrer 'Texas Killing Fields,' Persepolis Follow-Up 'Chicken With Plums' Also In Competition, Soderbergh's 'Contagion,' Madonna's 'W.E.' Out Of ItAfter a few months of rumors flying around, the line up for the 2011 Venice Film Festival has been unveiled, and to put it mildly, we're a little bit excited. The opening and closing films, George Clooney's "The Ides of March" and Whit Stillman's "Damsels In Distress," had been revealed over the past few weeks, and now, we've got the full selection. There'll be little new for anyone who spied the leaked line-up a few days ago, which seemed to get things about right, but even without the element of surprise, it's an incredibly tantalizing selection.

New Look: More Images From Tomas Alfredson's 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy'

  • By Simon Dang
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  • July 20, 2011 2:56 AM
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  • 5 Comments
Author John Le Carre & Cast Discuss The AdaptationWith the breathtaking trailer and poster combo recently unveiled, our excitement for Tomas Alfredson's adaptation of John Le Carre's "Tinker, Tailor, Solider, Spy" is sky high at the moment. Adding to that is the expectation that the film will pop up in one, or both, of the line ups for the Venice (having been invited to open) and Toronto International Film Festivals when they're announced in the coming weeks.

Tinker Tailor Poster Spy: One-Sheet Arrives For Eagerly Anticipated Spy Flick

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • July 19, 2011 12:57 PM
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  • 1 Comment
Every time we have to see something like "The Smurfs" or "Glee: The 3D Concert Movie" we get through it (other than by self-medicating) by remembering that it's only a few months before "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" hits theaters. The English-language debut of "Let The Right One In" director Tomas Alfredson, and the first big-screen version of the John le Carré spy novel already memorably adapted for television in the 1970s, the film's long been one of our most anticipated, considering its impeccably-pedigreed cast, and the teaser trailer that landed a few weeks back did absolutely nothing to change that, being one of the most mouth-watering clips we've seen in some time.

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