I hadn't read the book, I hadn't seen the series; So I arrived at the cinema yesterday evening without too many prejudices and expectations, apart from the fact that 1) it was a British movie with a Scandinavian director, and therefore not an overblown American bling feast and 2) the cast was superb anyway, so it couldn't be all bad.
I had heard a few reviews on the radio (I never let myself be influenced by reviews, mind) - Front Row on Radio 4: they all adored it, and The Saturday Review, on Radio 4 again: a bit more blase, and I have to quote the uber-irritating Miranda Sawyer who didn't like it mostly because (she moaned) "There is only ONE woman in the movie and she's BEAUTIFUL and she DIES" and of course mumbled something about feminism. She must have had an orgasm, then, when a graffiti spelling "The Future is Female" can be seen on a fence several times in one of the scenes... And actually, Kathy Burke has a speaking part, so it might be demeaning to her to say such a thing... If these programmes could avoid inviting embittered female guests to review movies and plays, they would do us a favour... At least, the blokes get on with it.
Anyway, so, the movie...
I loved it, because it was such an unusual piece of work. Moody, slow, atmospheric... It recaptures the idea I have of the seventies - not that I remember any of it, though, I was just a kid - everything is dirty, grey, messy, unkempt, depressing.
Of course, all the actors were all excellent and Gary Oldman, whom I have always liked for actually having a personality and taking risks, is masterful: understated, quiet, reserved, thoughtful but also a wounded man in his personal life. He ends up being very touching.
It is rare nowadays to see a movie that takes its time and that understands the importance of silence, of facial expressions and of what's happening behind a person's eyes.
And some of the reviewers clamoured loudly that of course, they had guessed who the mole was from the beginning, well, I didn't even try to guess, I let myself be carried to the end by the plot and the actors. It was strangely gripping, and deserves to be successful at the box office, although I am sure quite a lot of people wouldn't have the patience to sit through this slow-burning, unglamorous, intelligent movie.
Next movie for me will be Anonymous, the "Shakespeare" movie, out at the end of October. Looks like this one won't be moody ...
I think therefore I write.
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