“TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY” My rating: B+ (Opening January 6 at the Glenwood Arts)
127 minutes | MPAA rating: R
Gary Oldman is often described as an actor’s actor…which in his case apparently means an incurable ham.
Oldman’s career is heavily weighted toward over-the-top, push-too-far performances. Sometimes this is forgivable, particularly when he’s in a bad movie and his fierce scenery gnawing is the only remotely entertaining thing in sight.
Too often over the years, though, I’ve found him to be a jarring pothole in a movie’s narrative highway.
Now I can happily report that in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” Oldman gives a marvelously restrained, subtle and carefully modulated performance.
He plays British spymaster George Smiley, the owlish Cold War protagonis of several John LeCarre novels — a role essayed by Alec Guinness in the 1979 PBS adaptation of “TTSS.” And he is quietly wonderful.
The movie’s not too shabby, either. (more…)