Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
seen @ Kew Gardens Cinemas, Kew Gardens, Queens, NY
Don't ask me to explain Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. I can't - beyond, of course, the very basic premise of looking for the mole within England's MI6. I knew going into this movie that this wasn't gonna have any James Bond-type shenanigans, but I thought there'd at least be a healthy amount of action to it. Haven't we come to expect a little action in spy movies? I dunno. The worst part is that I was really looking forward to this movie.
Like many people, I saw this as Gary Oldman's Oscar bid - and he's excellent in it, though the odds do not look good for him getting that Best Actor nod right now - but I also believed it would be a good movie overall. It's well put together, and all the actors are top-notch (though John Hurt chews more than his share of scenery), but ultimately I was given no reason why I should care about any of it because there's a distinct lack of passion to these proceedings.
The theater was giving out these "cheat sheet" things to everyone seeing Tinker. Maybe you got one too, if you've seen the film - it's this great big fold-out that explains what "The Circus" is, who the characters in Tinker are and how they relate to each other, and what all the different code names mean. By the time I arrived, I had only a minute or two to look it over before the trailers started, so I didn't get a good look at it. I doubt it would've helped much, unless I was able to refer to it during the movie, which of course I couldn't (unless I had a pocket flashlight or something).
Maybe it was because of the holiday season, but there was a fairly large crowd for a late-afternoon midweek showing. The room looked half full. I had the misfortune to sit behind an older couple who felt the need to quietly chatter at every little detail, so during the opening credits I moved up an aisle. There was more chatter than usual during the movie, which I took to be people trying to figure out what the hell's going on in this movie, but I could've sworn I heard someone talking on a cell. Not sure. I did hear a cell go off, I know that. By contrast, I also heard a couple of people snoozing. Afterwards, I saw one dude comparing this to the BBC mini-series. He didn't seem to like this version much. In fact, I got the impression that much of the audience didn't care for it.
Not much more to add, except that I spent my time waiting for the movie to start in a cafe across the street which I had never been to before. I like it; I can't believe I've never been in there before, in fact. It's the perfect place to wait for the movie. The Kew, like many theaters these days, play a bunch of commercials before showing the trailers, so rather than sit through them, I wait until the last minute before entering whenever I go there. Getting a good seat usually isn't a problem when I go during the middle of the week, when it's cheaper. Now, though, I have a place I can hang out in first. Their tea is very good, and they even have soft, cushy lounge chairs, although I didn't get to sit in one because it was crowded. Had to settle for a stool. But that's okay.