Tinker, Tailer, Soldier, Spy – Review

December 24, 2011

Today I went out to the cinema despite the freezing cold to see this movie.  Technically, it was excellent, with some superb performances, Gary Oldman and Benedict Cumberbatch both giving standout performances.  Of course, it helped that all the main leads are very easy on the eye.

However, as a woman, I was shocked by how darned chauvinistic it was.  There was barely a single female character who wasn't a) simple arm candy for the main characters b) a glorified tealady c) an adulteress or d) a damsel in distress the rescue of whom is held out as a reward for one of the main male characters

The only positive female character , a smart secretary who seemed to know what was what (who got maybe 10 minutes' screen time) was portrayed as less than traditionally attractive, and was forcibly put out to pasture (retired) very early on.  Sadly, I fear that's not too far from the truth of life in the 1970s British intelligence service.  It's been a while since I read John Le Carré's novel on which the movie is based, so I can't recall exactly if it's as chauvinistic.

When speaking with friends they asked me what I felt was the best movie of 2011.  I actually found it very difficult to answer.  This year there has been no King's Speech.  In the end I had to say Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, if only for Alan Rickman.  Certainly the award for worst movie that I saw goes to Conan The Barbarian!

2012 sounds more promising in terms of movies.  We have Hunger Games and The Hobbit, as well as The Iron Lady.    There were also some excellent trailers before TTSS, the only one of which I remember is A Dangerous Method

I think 2011 was a better year for television than movies.  We had Game of Thrones and now Once Upon a Time, both of which were excellent examples of top quality drama. 


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