I found it gripping, relished the slow building of paranoid, oppressive and mysterious atmosphere, and it also highlights the dark side of the British private school system, gateway to elite clubs. With such shady characters, tense rivalries and violence, neither side of the cold war comes out with credit. Oldman and the cast as a whole are excellent, the settings and sense of the time very effectively handled.
The story was a little too dry (perhaps even brittle), but the sombre performances and desaturated colour palette were pitch-perfect for a tale within the special intelligence underworld of 1970s England. The opening and closing sequences bookend the film with gunshots, which was lovely. The sparse use of music was very effective, and overall the film was quite impressively executed.
The cutest headshot ever? A few inches under Firth's eye bag? How cute was that? Liked the way Lacon butters his toast, the way George swims on that lake and the sentence "Female is the Future". Mark Strong was so cool and Oldman was great great.
Alfredson should have pulled a David Fincher and force the studio to release a version longer than just two hours, only then the incredible effort put by everyone here, from the whole crew to the actors would have truly payed off. 5 stars to the execution, because there is no denying how amazing this film is, but 3 stars to the actual cut. Hopefully there will be an extended version someday.
The most interesting part of this film for me was the fact that, though it is a Cold War setting, it is a 21st century film that is simultaneously viewed through modern world issues and foreign policy.
Dense! I wish it was longer because the plot and characters needed some fleshing out, but also because the film is so damn entertaining and interesting to watch. It demands attention through its small performances and intricate detail, whether it be from the characters' interactions or the production design.
I found this one confusing & convoluted. Oldman and Firth are both good but there is so much going on that there's very little time for any actual character development. It feels highly cramped and if we don't get to know our characters we just don't care for the consequences. The production design and cinematography are first class all the way. 2.5 stars