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“Tinker, Tailor” called “the film to beat” at Venice – AWARDS ALLEY

By Sean O’Connell Tomas Alfredson’s eagerly anticipated potboiler “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy” finally dropped at the Venice Film Fest allowing journos covering the event to weigh in .

Alfredson’s adaptation of John le Carre’s potboiler, which casts Gary Oldman as a former spy ordered to uncover a potential mole in MI6, has disappointed those of us covering the Stateside films fests – from Telluride to Toronto and New York – by sidestepping them in favor of Venice. I think most figured it would be a last-minute surprise in Colorado, but now I’m afraid we’ll have to wait until Dec. 9, when Focus begins screening the film in limited release.

Based on Venice reactions, it will be worth the wait.

Time Out London, in its four-star review, says, “This film’s superb cast, script and direction threaten to make that journey equally as thrilling as Le Carré’s book.”

Tweeting from Italy, Guy Lodge of InContention gives Alfredson’s film a B+ and writes, “Tea-stained class, judiciously adapted and immaculately cast; as inactively riveting as can be. MVP [Tom] Hardy.”

Xan Brooks of The Guardian adds, “Right here, right now, it’s the film to beat at this year’s festival.”

Strong words of praise, even if the buzz out of Venice all weekend is how soft the slate has been. Still we’ll know shortly if Alfredson’s film wins over the Venice festival jury.

In the meantime, we’re left to wonder if Focus is hurting Alfredson’s thriller by keeping it out of Telluride, TIFF and NYFF. Perhaps stashing it away until December will put Alfredson’s film right back on the map as other “contenders” are fading away.

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