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There's a mole, right at the top of the Circus.


Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
(2011)

The Alec Guinness TV version is one of the pinnacles of BBC drama, so it's all-the-more gratifying that this manages to excise large chunks of the story but not feel like its shortchanging you.

Rather it comes up with it's own little, distinctive details (the party flashback scene, invented for the film, is quite superb). The cast is fantastic from the top down. Oldman occasionally echoes Guinness a little too much in his quiet reserve, but that is the character. Stand-outs were two of the younger thesps, Benedict Cumberhatch (given the most suspenseful scene in the film) and Tom Hardy. But a mention too for Mark Strong, finally given a role where he isn't the heavy.

If there's a weak note it might be Colin Firth, perhaps as he's the only actor in the bunch where I kept returning to the original actor playing the character (Ian Richardson). Superbly directed Tomas Alfredson, it drips with '70s drabness and orange wallpaper. Film of the year so far.

*****



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