Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 2011 Anglo-French espionage film directed by Tomas Alfredson based on the 1974 novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré Tinker. The film received three Academy Award nominations including a Best Actor nomination for Gary Oldman.
Directed by : Tomas Alfredson
Produced by : Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Robyn Slovo
Screenplay by : Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan
Starring : Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, Toby Jones, Mark Strong, Benedict Cumberbatch, David Dencik, Ciarán Hinds, Simon McBurney
Music by : Alberto Iglesias
Cinematography : Hoyte van Hoytema
Editing by : Dino Jonsäter
Studio : StudioCanal, Working Title Films
Distributed by : StudioCanal UK, StudioCanal (France)
Release date : 5 September 2011 (Venice Film Festival)
16 September 2011 (UK)
Plot Summary :
In October 1973, Control, the head of British Intelligence ("the Circus"), sends agent Jim Prideaux to Hungary to meet a Hungarian general who wishes to sell information. The operation is blown and a fleeing Prideaux is shot in the back by Hungarian intelligence. Amid the international incident that follows, Control and his right-hand man George Smiley are forced into retirement. Control, already ill, dies soon afterwards.
Percy Alleline becomes the new Chief of the Circus, with Bill Haydon as his deputy and Roy Bland and Toby Esterhase as close allies. They have established their status by delivering apparently high-grade Soviet intelligence material, code named "Witchcraft", about which both Control and Smiley were suspicious. Alleline shares Witchcraft material with the Americans, obtaining valuable US intelligence in exchange.
Smiley is brought out of retirement by Oliver Lacon, the Civil Servant in charge of intelligence, to investigate an allegation by agent Ricki Tarr that there is a long-term mole in a senior role in British Intelligence. Control had made a similar suggestion earlier. Smiley chooses a small team and begins to interview people who left the Circus at the same time as he and Control. One is Connie Sachs, who had been sacked by Alleline for accusing Alexei Polyakov, a Soviet cultural attaché in London, of being a Soviet agent. Another is Jerry Westerby, who had been duty clerk on the night Prideaux was shot. Westerby reveals he had rung Smiley's house for instructions, but Smiley's wife had answered, Smiley being away. Shortly afterwards, Haydon had arrived at the Circus saying he saw the news on the tickertape at his club at 1am. Smiley realises that because the club would have been closed by 1am, Haydon must have heard the news from Smiley's wife, with whom Haydon was having an affair.
Smiley finds Tarr hiding at his home. Tarr tells him that he had been sent to Istanbul to investigate Boris, a Soviet agent. Boris' "wife" Irina, herself a Soviet operative, tells Tarr of the existence of the mole run by Soviet spymaster Karla. Tarr had informed London of this revelation and, after a critical delay, is ordered home at once. Boris and the British station chief in Istanbul are both killed by the Russians and Irina taken back to Russia. Tarr, discredited and accused by the British of defecting and murdering the British station chief, goes on the run. Smiley instructs Peter Guillam, an intelligence officer but one of his team, to steal the Circus logbook for the night Tarr called: the relevant pages had been removed, suggesting Tarr's story about the mole is true.
Smiley finds Jim Prideaux, who had been repatriated. Prideaux reveals the true purpose of his mission to Hungary: to learn the name of the mole. Control had codenamed the suspects "Tinker" (Alleline), "Tailor" (Haydon), "Soldier" (Bland), "Poorman" (Esterhase) and "Beggarman" (Smiley himself). Prideaux tells of his brutal interrogation (during which he apparently witnesses Irina's execution) but reveals that the Soviets already knew of Control's investigation into the mole, and were only interested in finding out how far that investigation had progressed.
Smiley learns that Alleline, Haydon, Bland and Esterhase have been meeting Polyakov at a safe house, giving him what they believe to be worthless British information (thinking that, in the eyes of his Russian superiors, he is a loyal KGB agent, and needs something to show them) in return for Witchcraft material. In reality, the mole has been leaking genuine British information to Polyakov while the Witchcraft material was mostly "glitter" rather than "gold", designed to persuade the Americans to share intelligence with the British, which the mole could then pass to the Soviets.
Smiley pressures Esterhase to give away the safe house address. Smiley's trap is to have Tarr reappear at the Paris office, to "announce that he knows of the mole". Upon learning this, the mole (still unknown) will then want to meet Polyakov to inform Karla to neutralise Tarr. Smiley waits at the safe house and captures the mole: Haydon. At Sarratt, the Circus interrogation centre, Haydon reveals that he seduced Smiley's wife on Karla's instruction, in order to distort any suspicions Smiley may have had of Haydon. Before his mission to Hungary, Prideaux had visited Haydon, his close friend, and tipped him off about Control's suspicions, thus inadvertently sealing his own fate. The Circus plans to exchange Haydon back to the Soviets, but Prideaux, having learned of Haydon's treachery, kills him. Smiley is restored to the Circus as its chief.
Reception : Got high acclaim from critics and audience with 84% 'Fresh' approval rating from 190 reviews in Rotten Tomatoes and 7.3 rating in IMDB.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Official Trailer [HD]