Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ★★★★★

"It's the oldest question of all, George. Who can spy on the spies?"

I don't have a whole lot to say that I didn't already cover in my first review, so I'll try to keep this simple. I think it's an incredible testament to this film's success that an idiot like me can enjoy it. You see, I'm horribly incapable of following convoluted storylines. I can always understand enough to know generally what's going on, but if you asked me for specifics I'd probably just shrug my shoulders. If I watch a movie enough times I can eventually take it all in (eg. after countless watches I can finally explain what happens in Primer), but this is only my second time through Tinker Tailor and I can't honestly say I caught all the double meanings in the dialogue. But I'll be damned if I didn't have a swell time watching it all unfold.

I'm not a performances guy, so while the unparalleled cast undoubtedly made the ride more entertaining, I fell in love with this for other reasons. Hoyte Van Hoytema is a modern master of cinematography. Everything about the production reeks of a generation whose foundation is crumbling beneath them and whose future is only uncertain. It's no longer clear who our enemies and allies are, but through this smoke and dust rises a man willing to risk the collapse of all he holds dear in order to find the truth.

Definitely a difficult puzzle to put together, but the process of doing so is more enjoyable than most.

Part of The Rewatch List.