Ignore the gongs given out at the Oscars™ yesterday. They ignored the best film of 2011 and possibly the best acting ever. They certainly ignored the best ending to a film ever.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy was wonderful. The performances were spot on, especially from Gary Oldman (who the camera loves and who has screen presence that makes other actors look like painted stage backdrops). The 1970s-look was perfect. The original score was haunting. The direction was taut, spare and gripping. And of course John Le Carre’s original novel cannot be beaten for the web it weaves. And the ultimate accolade: it was as good as, if not better than, the 1979 BBC miniseries.
That it didn’t get an Oscar® is a crime. That Gary Oldman also went home without an Oscar© statuette in his pocket was even worse.
If you haven’t seen the film, go out and get the DVD. You won’t be disappointed, even if you remember Alec Guinness’s version with affection. If nothing else you can see the above ending, which is a work of genius, putting a truly wonderful seventiestastic version of ‘La Mer’ (Beyond the Sea) full of wistful joy over a montage of all the lives destroyed by the spy-in-their-midst – and Smiley’s promotion to head of the Service, the only one to truly benefit from all the horrors that went before.
Needless to say, this video is clearly spoiler-max (being the last 3 minutes of the film) so if you haven’t seen the movie and plan to, don’t press play.