November 30, 2011

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy- Museum of the Moving Image


Mike: The Museum of the Moving Image is a good place to see a movie. Yesterday I sat in the very first row - usually not a good place to watch a movie from, but here the distance to the screen is pretty big (there's a small stage in front of it for Q&A's and presentations) so the view is very good. The audiences are pretty well-behaved, too, which is all the more important for a film like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, which needs your full concentration. Last night was no exception, although I could have done without the old lady seated directly behind me, who took about five minutes to open the loud wrapper around her piece of hard candy and then proceeded to suck on it as loudly as possible, smacking every few seconds. But other than that, the audience behaved.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a complex film and it's very tough to keep up with it. But if you're able to, the reward is outstanding. It's a satisfying thriller that allows Gary Oldman to do some of his best work, taking a well-known literary character and making it his own. A rich supporting cast highlighted by Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth and others further elevate it to a classic spy movie. Kudos to Tomas Alfredson for following up his excellent Let the Right One In with something completely different and unexpected.
A word of advice, though: Some people have complained that the movie is hard to follow and tough to figure out. It's a chess game of a film - exciting, but you have to know what's happening and it's not always easy to figure out. I'd recommend getting a head start before seeing the film - read the first few paragraphs of the summary on wikipedia (don't read it till the end, though, as it gives away too much) and take a good look at who is playing who.

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