Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy has been getting rave reviews, but is it too intelligent for “average” movie-goers?
“Film-goers are being underestimated by the movie industry and not being offered enough intelligent work that might require some concentration”, the actor Colin Firth said at the Venice film festival.
Firth spoke to journalists after the film’s first screening, joined by the film’s lead Gary Oldman – who plays George Smiley – and actors John Hurt, Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Strong.
It is a film which demands concentration and is far from fast-paced – the polar opposite of a Bond or a Bourne spy movie. But Firth said: “I do think there is a tendency to underestimate audiences, I do think there is an appetite to be stretched. I do think people want to hear language at its best on the screen. I’m optimistic about it having an enormous audience.”
Oldman has turned in a particularly strong performance, gathering considerable praise from Le Carré himself.
Director Tomas Alfredson said of Oldman: “He knows he doesn’t have to paint with all colours all the time. He has the courage of the experienced actor to give you fragments, bits and pieces for you to put together for yourself. I’m particularly impressed by his minimalistic body language, watch the man acting with his neck towards the camera.”
Oldman conceded that the role of the quiet, steely Smiley was something of a departure. “I’ve played characters in the past that have been quite frenetic and express their emotions in a very physical way so this was a wonderful opportunity to play something very different from that. As an actor you are at the mercy of the industry and the imagination of the people that cast you.”