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Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy / La taupe (Bilingual)

Gary Oldman , Benedict Cumberbatch , Tomas Alfredson    DVD
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.99
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Product Description

Based on the classic novel of the same name, the international thriller is set at the height of the Cold War years of the mid-20th Century. George Smiley (Gary Oldman), a disgraced British spy, is rehired in secret by his government - which fears that the British Secret Intelligence Service, a.k.a. MI-6, has been compromised by a double agent working for the Soviets.


Georges Smiley est l'un des meilleurs agents du «Cirque», quartier général des services secrets britanniques. Alors qu'il vient à peine de prendre sa retraite, le cabinet du premier ministre fait de nouveau appel à lui. Le centre de Moscou, leur ennemi juré, aurait un agent double, infiltré au sein du Cirque. Smiley est chargé de démasquer la taupe parmi ses anciens collègues. Adaptation du roman à succès de John le Carré.


Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is all sleek, stealthy elegance. High-ranking intelligence officer George Smiley (Gary Oldman) was forced out of service when a mission in Hungary went very wrong, but rumors of a Soviet mole hidden within the agency bring him back into play. If the theory of the former head, Control (John Hurt), is to be believed, the mole is at the very top, one of four senior officers, played by Toby Jones, Ciarán Hinds, Colin Firth, and David Dencik (of the Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). With the help of a lower-ranking agent with a few secrets of his own (Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock) and a field agent who may be a source of disinformation (Tom Hardy, Inception), Smiley slowly draws out the clues he needs to lay a trap for the mole. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy moves gracefully, with brief but unhurried scenes that give a hint of information here, a dollop of implication there, until the larger picture (painted in a cinematic chiaroscuro of grays, blues, and browns) comes tantalizingly into focus. Don't expect Hitchcock-like suspense, though there are a few anxious sequences; this movie captures the blend of dread and bureaucracy that marks real-life intelligence work. Oldman plays Smiley as uncannily opaque and, on the surface, harmless--but his eyes hold a deep bitterness that can turn sorrowful or cruel. The masterful cast glides through the film, their subterfuges and machinations orchestrated like a dance by director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In). --Bret Fetzer

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Most helpful customer reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
The acting is impeccable. Gary Oldman completely disappears into the
role of Smiley; the voice, the walk, the tempo are all a unique
creation, a man who's strength comes from quiet, from watching, from
thinking, not from action. Rarely have we ever seen a movie hero this
passive. But this man is very actively passive. He may not move
physically, but his mind is racing like a computer. And Oldman is
surrounded by a top flight cast; Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt,
Ciaran Hinds, Benedict Cumberpatch, etc.

The film is very well shot, delicately creating a dour world of beige
and brown mazes.

But in distilling a story this complex down to two hours, something got
a little lost for me. Smiley has to figure out who the mole in the
British secret service is. But with this much plot, and this little
time, we don't really get to know the suspects. So we watch and are
(intentionally) confused, and then answers start to emerge, and it's
all never less than interesting. But somehow it never crosses over into
the emotional or unshakably memorable either.

I loved Alfredson's 'Let the Right One In' for it's uncanny combination
of atmosphere, creepiness, intelligence and heart. For me, 'Tinker,
Tailor..." has the first three, but lacks the last. Some of that is the
nature of LaCarre's work. But somehow I remember more moments, and more
feeling from the now 30+ year old TV adaptation, even though it didn't come
close to this new version's rich sense of style. But by not having to rush
through a story this dense, there was room to really feel and experience it,
instead of just working to keep up with it.

But all that said, this is a refreshingly smart, adult, well-made and
challenging film in a world with far too few.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The spy who spies on spies Feb. 28 2012
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy comes to us with an impressive pedigree. Director Tomas Alfredson previously directed a critically, and publicly acclaimed vampire movie Let the Right One In, a foreign language movie, now remade as Let Me In starring Chloe Moretz. If you don't mind subtitles I highly recommend it, and the remake which is also very good.

Colin Firth won the Oscar last year. Gary Oldman, got nominated for an Oscar for this role. Mark Strong gave a great performance in The Guard, and Ciaran Hinds excels in playing spies, as in The Debt, and Munich.

If you're like me you have neither read the book, nor seen the series starring Alec Guinness, so my experience of watching it fresh might be a good indicator.

I probably would not have seen it if I did not accidentally meet someone in the movie business, who had seen Gary Oldman and the director do a presentation at their campus.

When asked how he would like playing a stoic character, as opposed to his often passionate characters, he said he had waited thirty years to play a role like this, that often actors don't get to pick and choose their parts, but take what is offered and to put food on the table, and hope one day...

As the movie begins, we become aware of a 'mole' at the circus, and an agent played by Mark Strong is sent to Hungary for a secret meeting to discover who it is. When complications arise retired agent, the stoic George Smiley played by Gary Oldman is brought out of unscheduled retirement to find the mole, the spy who despises his fellow spies. It's like a game of chess, with chess symbolism, where we read between the lines both of unfurling events, and Smiley's furrowed brows to gauge the churning depths that stoic masks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good movie April 18 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Having seen some of the previous Alec Guiness product, I was poised to be disappointed howeveer I am pleased to note that I found this version very entertaining. While not having the detail of the Guiness version (time limits), it was very good and Gary Oldman did an excellent job. Worth having if you do not have the Guiness 6 hour series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I live some miles from the nearest cinema so I indulge my love of seeing films on the big screen about once a year. Because it's such a rare thing I try to make it an event of sorts. My big-screen film choice this year was the Tomas Alfredson-directed film version of John le Carré's 1974 novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (TTSS).

In anticipation of seeing TTSS I read the novel. On the surface it may be a story about a group of spies but it is so much more than that. Complex and intelligent it was a wonderful read, but I wondered how a filmmaker could possibly craft such a story into a comprehensible film. I needn't have. Tomas Alfredson and the writers Peter Straughan and the late Bridget O'Connor distilled the novel into a film that can and should be watched again and again.

I saw it with two good friends, The Norwegian who had no prior knowledge of the story and The Englishman who had seen the 1979 BBC television adaptation. The Norwegian got lost in the story's flashbacks. The Englishman and I, in spite of its complexity, followed the story from beginning to end. I admit that although I got the gist of the plot I found parts a bit confusing. I was, therefore, looking forward to watching it again on DVD.

Because I had done some homework prior to seeing the film I was keen to sort out the bits I didn't understand. When I got the DVD I debated watching the film straight through and then exploring the extras and commentaries or the reverse. I opted to first watch the making-of featurette and listen to the audio commentary by Tomas Alfredson and Gary Oldman. I'm glad I did because the two combined to refresh my memory and answer the questions I had carried away from the initial watching. I gave The Norwegian and The Englishman this intelligence.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars If you want this story buy the Alex Guinness TV version which is...
Rubbish, dont buy. If you want this story buy the Alex Guinness TV version which is longer
and far superior.
Published 2 months ago by Brian Fairey
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant cold-war spy yarn...
Gary Oldman shines as as a brilliant cold-war spy hunting a mole. Excellent supporting cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch and Colin Firth.
Published 4 months ago by Canuck Teach
4.0 out of 5 stars Gives the 1979 mini-series a run for its money
During the cold war it looks like that is a mole in MI-6. Control (John Hurt) and George Smiley (Gary Oldman) retire after a botched mission. Read more
Published 12 months ago by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I have loved the suspence even if the story is so difficult ...Gary Oldman is a good actor and I find Colin Firth elegant and carefree...and in the end of the story he is amazing!!
Published 16 months ago by Framboise
1.0 out of 5 stars would not recommend
would not recommend this movie. Couldn't figure it out. when movie was over we still could not figure it out.
Published 17 months ago by Thea Westra
5.0 out of 5 stars slow but sure
this is a very well acted film, but it is slow - typical of a LeCarre book. Gary Oldman is wonderful, as always
Published 19 months ago by Dr. Gary H. Kramer
1.0 out of 5 stars not worth the time or money
The movie jumped all over the place, because they aged actors looked the same in the present as they did in the past it was hard to follow the sequence of events. Read more
Published 20 months ago by M. Kruk
5.0 out of 5 stars Great followup
This re rendering of John LeCarres masterpiece compares well with the original starring Alec Guinness as George Smiley. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Dr. Ted. Needham
3.0 out of 5 stars great
It's Gary Oldman...An incredible actor who moves this movie into greatness!!The dvd was in perfect condition and fun movie to watch!
Published 22 months ago by Jen
4.0 out of 5 stars Spying as it likely is
No James Bond glamour or special effects here. This is a movie with a feel of reality. Gritty, well acted and well directed. Read more
Published 22 months ago by bookweasel
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