Looking Back…Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

To celebrate the release of Our Kind of Traitor, based on a John Le Carre novel, we look at the best conception of his work – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.

I promised myself never to talk about the 84th Academy Awards. Not that I want to dismiss the achievements of the Winners involved but the Oscars in 2012 certainly favoured the novelty over talent. The fact that Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive was entirely missed out in acting, direction and picture categories still boils my blood. But more erroneous was, despite his nomination, Gary Oldman was severely overlooked at award season due to an updated elongated silent movie. Even overturned for a BAFTA, Oldham’s portrayal of George Smiley in this tense espionage thriller was truly captivating and the best performance of that year. So yes, the 2012 award ceremony was a dubious affair to say the least.

That being said, I am here to celebrate one of the finest piece of drama to come from Britain in a long time; Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Only, well, it is helmed by a Swedish Director. But this Scandinavian infused masterpiece is very very British.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is based on a famous novel by John le Carre (who is British, before you say anything.) Set in the early Seventies, at the height of the Cold War, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy tells the story of George Smiley who is forced, along with his boss Control, into retirement following a botched Budapest mission. However, Control’s mission had bigger connotations; he was looking for a Russian planted mole within the MI5, otherwise known as the Circus. It is up to Smiley, the only man Control trusted, to hunt down this mole and uncover him before the mole uncovers the whole system.

First things first, Gary Oldman is well known for being a versatile and brilliant actor. However, what he brings to the role of George Smiley is astonishing. He is captivating on every level. With the weight of twisting plot and Le Carres novel, it takes a great actor to not only pull us in but keep us transfixed through the slow paced movie. But Oldman here tells many stories with just a few lines and facial expressions. He grabs our attention with glances and conveys emotions through a change of tone.  Two stellar scenes stuck in my mind. His Karla monologue was a breath taking moment; you are compelled by his tale and interpretation of this invisible enemy. And secondly, the scene at the Christmas party where his wives infidelity is revealed. It is a master class in acting. There are no words spoken, no shouting or over the top accusations. Just a reaction, a silent, quivering and sorrow filled reaction that is a testament to Oldman’s expertise. There is nothing less than awe for his performance here.

And while I don’t want to make this article all about Oldman (though it is very easily done,) let’s throw a little praise to the team who have masterminded Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Alfredson give elements to Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy that would have falter in many other hands. With an intense and striking cinematography and an intelligent screenplay, Alfredson utilises iconic shots and great transitions into flashbacks as stories begin to interlock. Alfredson is the ringleader, transferring the Circus to the big screen.

There was every chance that a spy novel that was once a TV miniseries would falter when placed onto the big screen. But Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy is a massive and tantalising piece of cinema. With a cast that contains, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Toby Jones, Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Ciaran Hinds, there is nothing less than amazing here. While some may turn your nose up at a spy movie that has no explosions, a dastardly villain or at least complicated gadgets; it is a very complex yet intriguing movie.


Our Kind of Traitor is out in cinemas now! 
Read Ren’s review now! 

Yoga Hosers – Brand New Trailer

Back in the nineties and the early noughties, Kevin Smith owned the world of comedy. From his independent flick Clerks to Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Smith accrued a heap of fans and critical acclaim for his work.

Lately, the director has come under flak but his work has stayed original, unique, and still appeases his fans.

Following on from his wildly under-appreciated horror film Tusk, Smith returns with the mind-boggling weird movie Yoga Hosers starring Lily-Rose Melody Depp, Harly Quinn Smith (no, really,) and Johnny Depp. The film sees two yoga enthusiasts who have to battle with an ancient evil presence that threatens their party plans.

Yep. Weird. Could be brilliant. But this trailer is straight up bonkers. Maybe one for the cult enthusiasts?

Yoga Hosers is out 29th July 

The Trust – Brand New Clip

by Lee-Anne Pawley

The sibling n00bs, Alex and Benjamin Brewer, are causing quite a stir amongst critics. After premiering at SXSW, their debut film ‘The Trust’ has been described as the crime thriller of the year and received some awesome reviews. I like to think of the brothers lying in their bunk beds, high fiving because they have to brag about at the next family reunion. Well done lads, this puts cousin Joey’s piano recital to shame!

This new clip has certainly made me think twice about this movie. Literally. I watched the trailer back in March, which I have to say was kind of ‘meh’. The plot and the script didn’t look up to much – it looked like a safe film that scored some well-known actors. What excited me about it was the fresh meat to the directing scene – it’s nice to support the underdogs. But now this film is on everyone’s radars for all the best reasons. The acting, the script, the direction – which isn’t just new but also good!

Before you hit play, think of Cage in some of his darker, more manic roles. The ones that leave you thinking ‘he’s just a little too good at playing the crazy guy’. Now, buddy him with doe-eyed Elijah Wood, who was just a little too good at playing a dancing penguin, a plucky dragon called Spyro and, of course, a halfling from The Shire. Got that pairing in your head?

Things just took a real turn didn’t they?

The Trust is out 27th May 

Nerve – Brand New Trailer!

Truth or Dare was a game I can guarantee all of you played at some point. Especially has a hot blooded teen mooning over bottles of WKD and hoping someone dares you to kiss your crush. Instead, it’s usually flashing a bra or mooning in the garden and eventually, the game fizzled out of your life.

Imagine if it didn’t and became a larger entity. Without the truth, and the dares, well, they can be deadly.

That’s what Nerve is all about.

Starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, Nerve revolves around a young girl named Vee who is encouraged to live a little and play Nerve. After scooping up Ian, a random stranger, the pair take to the streets of New York to meet the demands of Watchers for cash. Only, the game soon gets bigger and deadlier…

Just when you think the movie is going to be a somewhat sinister but sweet movie about over-coming your fears, the film takes a turn and becomes a darker film. Though, I really wish the film ended at the sweet and daring side. Because imagine watching that film, thinking it’s all hijinks and shenanigans then getting hit with the twist already clear in the trailer. Boo I say. Boo.

Looking like the social media version of The Purge but without the talents of Lena Headley or Ethan Hawke, Nerve could still be excellent…could be.

Nerve is out 27th May 

Hell or High Water – Brand New Trailer!

This film has Jeff Bridges in it…

…Oh, you want more. I thought that was enough. Every film (yes, even Seventh Son,) is improved by the addition of Jeff Bridges. The snarling Big-Lebowski-Oscar-Winning triumphant actor is at least somewhere on your top ten list of best actors.

In westerns and dramas, Bridges thrives so all of this spells amazing things for this new film!

Hell or High Water revolves around a divorced dad and his brother, who happens to be an ex-con, resort to desperate scheme in order to save their families farm. Only they are pursued by a relentless and foul-mouthed Texas Rangers (guess who?) and the brothers try to survive whilst also keeping their families together.

Starring Ben Foster and Chris Pine, the sleepy brown aesthetic of Hell or High Water and the visceral storyline, as well as top notch actors, spells good thing.

We’d travel miles to see Jeff Bridges in anything…..hell or high water!

Hell or High Water has no official UK release but hits America in August 


Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Brand New Trailer!

Ang Lee is one of the best directors around and he has an Academy Award to prove it. (Disclaimer: an Oscar isn’t actually indication of talent, just something shiny and nice.) The director has crafted some utterly spell-binding work from Life of Pi to Hulk (I bet you thought I was going to say Brokeback Mountain!)

Now he returns to tackle Ben Fountain’s novel of the same name. And damn, it looks good.

The film revolves around a 19 year old soldier who,  thanks to a tough battle, is  inexplicably was made famous in his home country

This film looks so amazing. The imagery, the emotion, the sensitivity. Also, it’s flippin Ang Lee. When has he ever let us down?

Ok. OK.


But apart from that, when has Ang Lee ever let us down?

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is out 11th November