January 14, 2012
This has been a week for catching up on the round of holiday movies.
The Adventures of Tintin
Competent, but not exciting, alas. I fell victim to the wobbly motion-capture animation: half the faces were hyper-realistic, half were cartoons, and I never found my balance. It annoyed me mightily. It’s been interesting talking to people and finding out who’s heard of the Tintin comics, who’s actually read them, who knows how immensely popular they are in other countries, and who’s never heard of them at all. I know of them, know how popular they are, but have never read them, and I wonder if I would have liked the movie better if I had.
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
This is a portrait of a Cold War spy agency in the process of eating its own tail, and one of its great spymasters is set to investigating his own. It’s brilliant. A spy thriller with no car chases or explosions, with all those great British actors who are in everything. Gary Oldman especially is very, very good. I had the feeling I was watching an excellent stage play, the kind where two intensely charismatic actors are alone on stage, exchanging simple lines of dialog that have about five different levels of meaning, and my heart’s in my throat waiting for everything to hit the fan. Oh, the dialog. I swooned. But my friend pointed out during the closing credits that this is not a film for everyone — as the loud snoring from elsewhere in the theater during the climactic scene demonstrated. This is a movie for people who love films like Good Night, and Good Luck, which I did, so there.