John le Carré.

John le Carré: "Tinker Tailor" the movie of a lifetime

Salon exclusive: The spy fiction icon calls the new film the best adaptation of his work ever


John Le Carre
December 8, 2011 9:37PM (UTC)

Once in a lifetime, if a novelist is very lucky, he gets a movie made of one of his books that has its own life and truth. This is the achievement of Tomas Alfredson and his team.

Yet I have been asked if an American audience -- accustomed to the speed and dash of most movie-making today -- will have the concentration span needed to follow an intelligently paced narrative of some complexity? I believe that audiences are far better at doing this than film-makers give them credit for. This is a movie that entertains superbly and thrillingly at its own pace and rhythm -- a hypnotic movie that takes you over completely. I don't believe that any audience, once introduced to it, will be able to take its eyes off the screen.

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In profound ways, it is touching and often alarming. In less profound ways, it is exciting and occasionally very funny. Its complexities are a pleasure to share, and the more so since the movie gently explains them and delivers a satisfying dénouement.

It is a work of art that stays with you, as good works of art do.


John Le Carre

John Le Carre's novels include "Tinker,Tailor, Soldier, Spy." and "The Tailor of Panama".

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