Before we begin, please check out the trailer for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and then come back for my commentary and analysis.
I hadn’t heard anything about this film until recently. I found it because it popped up in my Youtube subscription docket, and I noticed that the comments on it mentioned that it was getting lots of Oscar buzz. My interest was piqued so I checked out the trailer and did a little research on it.
In 1974, the best-selling book of the year was the political thriller “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” by John le Carré (also famous for The Constant Gardener). Later that decade it was turned into a miniseries on BBC that did only okay. According to Screenrant.com – “the story is set in the aftermath of the Cold War and involves a spy hunt within the highest echelons of the British Secret Intelligence Service.” Certainly a great start for an interesting storyline.
At least part of what is getting everyone so hyped up about the film is the stellar cast. I can’t think of a movie this well packed out with stars (other than The Expendibles, and we all know how that turned out…). Heading the film is quite possibly my favorite actor: Gary Oldman. He is “nearly unrecognizable” in his role as George Smiley (Collider.com). That is what I love about him – he disappears into whatever character he is creating to the point at which you forget it is him. And he looks to have done it again, at least by what we see in the trailer but more on that later.
Other notable stars gracing the film are the following:
- Colin Firth (Oscar winner for King’s Speech last year)
- Tom Hardy (Inception & upcoming The Dark Knight Rises)
- John Hurt (V for Vendetta, Melancholia, everything)
- Toby Jones (Frost/Nixon, Finding Neverland)
- Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes, Body of Lies)
- Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock – BBC)
The cast is just incredible. There are many more wonderful people in the film but these are the standout names that have gone so far as to give it a 95% “want to see” rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
One final note (and one final citation) before I get into the trailer review. The film is helmed by Sweden’s Tomas Alfredson – who as far as I can tell has made only Let the Right One In (at least in America) and that was a vampire/revenge story in the wake of Twilight. That being the case I am both curious and anxious about how he will handle the serious and distinctly British plot and cast. The trailer does look good though and, as I haven’t seen Let the Right One In yet, I will hold off judgement until the product is out. As a side note, his brother Daniel directed the first two original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies (ie – the Swedish versions, not upcoming US ones).
Check out the IMDB page to see a bit more on Tomas and on the upcoming movie.
FINALLY, on to the trailer itself. I really like the beginning – it draws you in like the winding of the tape reels. And the piano note is perfectly placed. In fact the score for the trailer is excellent. Minimalist and pungent, it creates a rhythm for the trailer which is both driving and intriguing. Its pace draws you in. My kudos to the mixer 🙂
After the title slides, we get the most engaging line I have ever seen in a trailer: “There is a mole….right at the top of the circus”. Best start to a trailer of the ones I have thus far reviewed. The line instantly completes two tasks: first, to draw me in and pique my interest to stay watching, and second, to give me a taste of what the film is all about. With the first line of the trailer I can say that I know what kind of film I am watching without giving the whole plot away. Great writing and great editing by the trailer company.
What this trailer does best of all is showcase the allstar cast while still giving me an adequete and intriguing amount of plot. And that is what everything before 0:44 is all about. The flashes we get give us snippets of the awesome acting we are sure to see in this film. They also give us just enough plot details for us to follow along.
In essence what we get is 1:18 of teasers. Character teasers in particular. There is a slight shift at 45 seconds, when we start to get a bit more of an idea of who does what, but the footage stays focused on the characters. That is absolutely fantastic and it makes me think that the film will follow the trend. I love how simple this trailer is, how elegantly the whole thing flows, and how interesting it makes a Cold War spy drama (a genre that we have seen often before). I hadn’t been excited at all for the film until I saw the trailer so I say “Bravo” to its creators. I look forward to seeing your world in the future.
Well there you go!!! Four days late but I hope it satisfies none-the-less. I am really pumped about this movie now and plan to review it come September (regardless of what the above poster says).
I have NO idea what I am going to do next for the Art of the Trailer. If you have any suggestions, PLEASE let me know asap. I will take your comments here on the blog or on my Facebook page if you are friends with me. Otherwise I will be posting a surprise trailer review this Friday (for realz) 🙂 Thanks for sticking with me and I will see you at the end of the week!