In Film News on June 10, 2011 at 4:19 pm
Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Focus Features’ “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” will be released in the US on November 18, just in time for the heating-up of Oscar season. The Telegraph says that the film will definitely be competing for BAFTAs and Oscars next spring.
The film features a veritable who’s who of great British (and Irish) male actors: Gary Oldman stars as George Smiley, a diminutive MI6 employee who uncovers a mole within his department. Other cast members include recent Oscar winner Colin Firth, Ciaran Hinds (one of my favorites), Tom Hardy, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Mark Strong, among many others. Even the screenwriter, Peter Morgan, fits in: he wrote scripts for Oscar-winners The Queen and Frost/Nixon.
Though the dearth of female characters is unfortunate, it may herald a return to the Oscars crop of 2007 (No Country for Old Men, etc.), a field which was so completely anti-feminine that even the New Yorker ran a piece about it. But I have faith in Tinker, Tailor; not only is its source material beyond compare (at least, the 1979 TV miniseries starring Alec Guiness–I haven’t read the novel by John Le Carre), but its director, Thomas Alfredson, helmed the incredible Swedish vampire flick “Let The Right One In.” If anyone can create atmosphere and breathe new life into a much-told story, it’s him!
In Film Reviews on August 29, 2010 at 2:56 pm
Find this review on ManhattanMovieMag.com!
Irish actor Ciaran Hinds has been a fixture of British and Irish TV and film for decades. I loved him in Prime Suspect 3 (1993), and since then he’s only become more popular; this fall, he’ll be appearing as Dumbledore’s brother in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
In Conor McPherson’s The Eclipse Hinds plays Michael Farr, a man who recently lost his wife to cancer, and who is struggling to take care of his two young children while also volunteering at the local literary festival. While helping out at the festival, Farr meets Lena Morelle (Iben Hjejle), a novelist with a flair for the fantastic—her latest book is about seeing ghosts. Farr himself has suddenly begun seeing apparitions of his elderly father-in-law, and feels an instant kinship with Morelle because of her seeming expertise on the subject.
As the two grow closer, Farr’s ghost sightings become more extreme, and Morelle is pursued by a one-time love interest, played with boozy verve by Aidan Quinn. Everything eventually comes to a head—but the film doesn’t devolve into horror-film cliché, nor does it turn into a sappy supernatural romance story. Instead, it stays quiet, thoughtful, and realistic—once the film ends, you have the distinct feeling that anyone could see a ghost, no matter how sane they are.
The Eclipse’s poignancy is anchored by Hinds’ earnest, sympathetic performance (which netted him a Best Actor award at Tribeca in 2009) and this is what keeps it from tipping over into ghost story absurdity. McPherson’s directing is also wonderfully understated—the film has a real life to it, with fully developed characters and a setting (County Cork, Ireland) that’s just misty enough to be a little otherworldly. This film is perfect to curl up with on a chilly fall night.
The Eclipse is now available on DVD.