Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Three Movies Based on Books We Can't Wait to See: The Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival is featuring the debut of three screen adaptations high on our must see list. On Chesil Beach, Papillon and Molly's Game.

On Chesil Beach 
A drama set in the early 1960s and centered on a young couple on their honeymoon.
Ian McEwan wrote the screenplay based on his novel so that's exciting/terrifying. McEwan won't have anyone else to blame if the script fails. But with Saoirse Ronan perfectly cast as Florence, how could it? Billy Howle as her virginal groom is currently set to make its public debut in January 2018 in the UK. 

A prisoner detained on a remote island plots his escape. A remake of the 1973 film 'Papillon'.
The remake of Papillon stars Charlie Hunnam as the real life Henri Charriére—the 1973 version was based on Charriere's memoir—with Rami Malek as Dega. It's tough to say which actor has the tougher job and whose shoes will be harder to fill. Hunnam tackling the role of Charriére played by the iconic McQueen, dead for over 30 years and about whom there's been a lot of talk of a biopic in development (In fact, I've pondered whether Hunnam might not be a good candidte for the part) or Malek in the part played by Hoffman who is still very much alive. Papillon doesn't have a scheduled release date yet.

Molly's Game
The true story of an Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game and became an FBI target. Her players included movie stars, business titans and unbeknownst to her, the Russian mob.
With Jessica Chastain as Molly and costarring Idris Elba, Molly's Game is based on the memoir by Molly Bloom. The film, written by Aaron Sorkin, is also the screenwriter's directorial debut. Molly's Game is scheduled to come out on November 22 and has a recently released trailer. Let's watch it.

The 42nd Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 7-17.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Win a Copy of Into the Water by Paula Hawkins: Book GIVEAWAY!!

Announcing Lucy’s Library GiveAway

Like many of us, my neighbor Lucy is an avid reader. I can’t speak for you, but unlike me, Lucy is not a book hoarder. When I buy a book, I'm loathe to part with it. I love having it nearby on my bookshelves where I can see it, touch it, remember it. You too?

Lucy is a far more generous minded woman. She'll stop by from time to time, a book or two in hand. Books she's giving to me.

‘‘Here,’’ she’ll say. ‘‘Enjoy! Oh and I don’t want them back’’ Lucy will add. ‘‘When you’re finished reading them, please pass them on.’’

Deal. I’ve decided to pass them on to you, dear reader.

First up, Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. 
Hardback. Good condition, no folded pages, no underlining, no highlighted passages. If you like I can forge Paula Hawkins’ signature. Okay, that’s my lame attempt at a joke.

To Enter 

•Leave a comment below
•Retweet this post on Twitter. 
•Share on Facebook

Deadline: August 24th

Stay in the loop, subscribe to Chapter1-Take1 for book to movie news & upcoming contest announcements.

My take one Into the Water

Monday, August 14, 2017

To Kill a Mockingbird: Atticus Finch shines a light on racism

This. This clip from To Kill a Mockingbird highlights an attitude about black men that remains one of the hallmarks of the hatred exhibited by white supremacists, neo-nazis and the KKK. Small, terrified groups of white men who blame black men for their own personal failings. Men—these hate movements seem to be mostly men—who see themselves as superior simply owing to the color of their skin, whose very behavior betrays their basic bigotry, ignorance and in fact, inferiority. 

As long as the Klu Klux Klan continues to march, as long as there are white men—and women—who continue to hate based on the color of a person's skin, books and movies like To Kill a Mockingbird remain relevant and heartbreaking. 

You can stream To Kill a Mockingbird, based on the book by Harper Lee, on all the usual streaming servies.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Our Souls at Night: My take on the book by Kent Haruf

Home in bed with a bit of the sickies, I downloaded Our Souls at Night on my Nook. It's a small book—just 136 pages—written in a very simple, straightforward style. No big words, just big feelings, and thoughts about how we choose to live our lives and who for? I finished it in a few hours but their story will stay with me for quite awhile. 

It is a lovely, heartfelt tale, about two lonely older people in their 70's. Both of their lives didn't play out exactly as they might have wished, this is likely their last chance at love. Together, little by little, layer by layer, they come to share the secrets of their pasts and find new joy in simple pleasures; picnics and Sunday drives, and just having someone to share your thoughts with. I was touched throughout the book by how clear and direct and patient they were with each other, and by all the unspoken wonders they found in the world around them. I found myself sniffing back tears several times. The addition of Addie's grandson Jamie into the plot—a bit of a monkeywrench in how he affects their romance—is heart-wrenching. 

The film version of Kent Haruf's last book comes to the screen on September 29th and I'm eager to see how Robert Redford and Jane Fonda translate Louis and Addie onscreen. Check out the teaser trailer below, it really is quite sweet. The rest of the cast includes Matthias Schoenaerts—who I ususally like but I'm a bit miffed he's playing Addie's disapproving son Gene, Judy Greer as Redford's daughter Holly, Bruce Dern as a disapproving neighbor and Ian Armitage as Addie's grandson, Jamie. Jamie is one of the few who doesn't disapprove! 

The script was written by rom-com masters Scott Neustadter
and Michael H. Weber (500 Days of Summer, The Fault in Our Stars, Where'd You Go Bernadette

About the book, from the publisher...
In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf's inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis's wife. His daughter lives hours away, her son even farther, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in empty houses, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. But maybe that could change? As Addie and Louis come to know each other better--their pleasures and their difficulties--a beautiful story of second chances unfolds, making Our Souls at Night the perfect final installment to this beloved writer's enduring contribution to American literature.

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls: My take on the book

I've been reading the best selling memoir The Glass Castle  by Jeannette Walls this week knowing the film was due out in theaters today. 

The book was on the NY Times best seller list for years, possibly because the story of the plucky band of kids who not only survived their upbringing by a pair of parents ill-equipped for the job but who ultimately triumphed despite that, is reassuring. The Walls parents—the alcoholic father full of big plans, dreams and schemes who always self-implodes and the self-centered mother who believed raising children was a matter of letting them fend for themselves while she pursued her art—make any of own parenting shortfalls meaningless.

Short of abuse—there was never any physical violence or sexual abuse—this couple is so haphazard in their parenting, so negligent in the basic duties of care, it really is a wonder the kids, especially Jeannette, the writer, lived to tell about it.

They travel across the country from the deserts of California to the freezing cold of West Virginia's coal country enduring a father who steals their hard-earned money, a mother who admonishes them to eat around the maggots, living quarters where floors and ceilings cave in, where beds are cardboard 'mattresses' suspended from the ceiling, where toilets are little more than a bucket in the kitchen and food is what can be retrieved from a dumpster. 

They deal with being ostracized and bullied by their neighbors and classmates, usually poor too but nobody is as impoverished, as smelly, as as downtrodden as the Walls. As much as they struggle, we also see the kids are incredibly bright, even advanced—I tweeted in the week that Jeannette was as smart at age four as I am at sixty four—blessed with gifts that help them overcome it all.

To be honest, the book is a litany of all the horrors they faced, beginning with early childhood. At some point, for me, it became a bit redundant. What now?! I found myself thinking. And oh, no, how could he? Not again. I admit, part of me, that small mean-spirited envious part of me, wondered how she could remember all those details. Was it all really true?

Apparently it is. I'm disappointed to say that yours truly, champion cryer in the world, shed not a single tear during my reading of the book. I'm not sure what that means but perhaps it's because Walls doesn't feel sorry for herself, not one iota. She doesn't cast blame, doesn't spend much time wondering how much more someone as clearly gifted as she, might have accomplished with more hands on parenting. She doesn't need to. In spite of everything, Walls accepted and loved her parents, and didn't wait for them to get it together. She got it together herself. Remarkable, really, but as I say, not a story that broke my heart. Why would it when everything turns out so well for everyone?

Still, I'm looking forward to seeing the film with Brie Larson as the older Jeannette Walls with Woody Harrelson as her charasmatic, heavy drinking daddy and Naomi Watts as the distracted mother. FYI I kept seeing a young Sam Shepard (RIP) and Sissy Spacek when I was reading the book. 

Let's watch the trailer

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Psycho: Alfred Hitchcock takes you on a Tour in this Vintage #ThrowBackThursday Trailer

Here's one of those 'back in the eighties I used to—' posts. So let's get to it, back in the 80's I used to ride past the Psycho house all the time. I was a Universal Studios tour guide and I can tell you, in all the hundreds of times I pointed out the decrepit house on the hill looming over the Bates Motel on the backlot, the original structures from Alfred Hitchcock's 1960's thriller, not once did I mention that the film was based on a book, a 'chiller' by Robert Bloch. I didn't know. Back in those pre-internet days, information wasn't as easy to come by. I would have had to make real effort to find out that factoid; these days I just plug Psycho into my browser and well, you know, there is more than enough material to keep a reader/writer going for decades. Or at least an afternoon.

Back then, I could have used that info on those long, hot summer days when the tour trams were often delayed behind lines of other trams stuffed with tourists, forcing us to stall for time. One of our tour guide stall stories was how Alfred Hitchcock got thousands of letters about the shower scene, including one from a disgruntled father, complaining that Psycho had freaked his daughter out so much, she refused to take a shower. Hitchcock's response? 
Dear Sir, I suggest she take baths instead.

These days the trams have built in screens and all the spoiled brats tour guides have to do is punch a button; back in my day (she creaked) we had to talk for the entire two hours. Ah, you kids, you don't know how lucky you are! Back in my day (she creaked) if we wanted to see an old movie, we had to wait for it to come on television, but you, you get to stream it for a few bucks on Vudu, GooglePlay, iTunes or Amazon.

Janet Leigh turned in one hell of a performance, winning the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress. She even garnered an Oscar nomination, as did Hitchcock, his cinematographer and production design team, quite a feat considering the Academy rarely honors that type of horror film even with nominations, the last I find being The Exorcist in 1973. Have I forgotten one? Let me know.

Better than any tour I could take you on, is this vintage 1960 extended 'trailer' in which Hitchcock walks you through the Psycho house and the Bates Motel. It's not really a trailer, it's a weird and wonderful and spoilery promo piece, just over 6 minutes long. Enjoy!


You might want to read Meltdown Moments; a companion piece of sorts, 
inspired by Dennis Quaid's meltdown, 
about watching the actor Bud Cort shoot a scene from The Bates Motel circa 1987.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Call Me By Your Name starring Armie Hammer: Watch the trailer

We first learned this was coming back in January just before it screened at Sundance & before there was a trailer. An erotic love story between a 17 year old boy and a young graduate student, Call Me By Your Name has been set to play at the New York Film Festival which runs from September 28th to October 15th. And now we have a trailer.

Based on the book by André Aciman, the film was written by James Ivory and directed by Luca Guadagnino. Timothée Chalamet stars as the 17 year old who pines for 24 year old Oliver, played by Armie Hammer. Michael Stuhlbarg plays the boy’s father. 

The logline: Summer of 1983, Northern Italy. An American-Italian is enamored by an American student who comes to study and live with his family. Together they share an unforgettable summer full of music, food, and romance that will forever change them.

Call Me By Your Name hits theaters November 24th.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

80th Birthday Tribute to Dustin Hoffman: Through the Years & By the Book

The Graduate/1967 (30)
Novel by Charles Webb

Midnight Cowboy/1969 (32)
Book by James Lee Herlihy
John and Mary/1969 (32)
Book by Mervyn Jones

Little Big Man/1970 (33)
Book by Thomas Berger

Straw Dogs/1971 (34)
Book by Gordon M. Williams

Papillon/1973 (36)
Memoir by Henri Charrière

All the Presidents Men/1976 (39)
Nonfiction by Carl Bernstein & Bob Woodward

Marathon Man/1976
Book by William Goldman

Kramer VS Kramer/1978 (41)
Novel by Avery Corman

Death of a Salesman/1985 (48)
Play by Arthur Miller

Rain Man/1988 (51)
Read about Kim Peek, the real Rain Main in 
“The Life and Message of the Real Rain Man’’

Billy Bathgate/1991 (54)
Novel by E.L. Doctorow

Hook/1991 (54)
Novels by J.M. Barrie

Sleepers/1996 (59)
Novel by Lorenzo Carcaterra

Wag the Dog/1997 (60)
Novel by Larry Beinhart

Sphere/1998 (61)
Novel by Michael Crichton

Runaway Jury/2003 (66)
Novel by John Grisham

Finding Neverland/2004 (67)
Play by Allan Knee inspired by James M. Barrie's life

Barney's Version /2006 (69)
Novel by Mordecai Richler

Esio Trot/2015 (78)
Book by Roald Dahl

Medici: Masters of Florence/2016 (79)
Check out Ross King’s Brunelleschi’s Dome: 
How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture

Happy Birthday Dustin Hoffman
What's next in your book to movie world?

Monday, August 7, 2017

Books We Wish Were Movies: The Unwomanly Face of War

Here at Chapter1-Take1 we mostly talk movies based on books but every once in a great while we look at books we'd love to see become movies. The link is right over there in the left sidebar. Today I'm adding another book to the list, one that most of us likely haven't read. Until July of this year, the Nobel Prize winning book, The Unwomanly Face of War first published in 1985 wasn't even available in English. 

Fellow reader Maite—who shares her thoughts on the book below—and I are hoping an ambitious filmmaker reads the book and finds a way to bring some of these women's stories to the screen. 

About the book

For more than three decades, Svetlana Alexievich has been the memory and conscience of the twentieth century. When the Swedish Academy awarded her the Nobel Prize, it cited her invention of “a new kind of literary genre,” describing her work as “a history of emotions . . . a history of the soul.”

In The Unwomanly Face of War, Alexievich chronicles the experiences of the Soviet women who fought on the front lines, on the home front, and in the occupied territories. These women—more than a million in total—were nurses and doctors, pilots, tank drivers, machine-gunners, and snipers. They battled alongside men, and yet, after the victory, their efforts and sacrifices were forgotten.
“But why? I asked myself more than once. Why, having stood up for and held their own place in a once absolutely male world, have women not stood up for their history? Their words and feelings? They did not believe themselves. A whole world is hidden from us. Their war remains unknown . . . I want to write the history of that war. A women’s history.”—Svetlana Alexievich
Here's what Maite at @RorysBooks on twitter said about the book while trying to share her thoughts on Goodreads. She was clearly profoundly moved.

I don't know how to write this review, I have tried to put my feelings into words but how can you put something into words that you can't even organize in thoughts. The shocking things you found out in such simple words are so painful that I could barely read more than one chapter a day. And I couldn't do it at night, my dreams would be filled with war and these woman's voices.

I asked Maite if she could expand her thoughts a bit, the book—the womens' stories—seem more than cinema-worthy. I don't know about you but I'm hungry for real life tales of women's lives, especially when they're of historical interest and import. Think about Hidden Figures and the contributions those black American women made to our space program, hidden for so long. I love seeing those kinds of stories come out of the shadow!
Soviet pilots Vera Tikhomirova and Mariya Smirnova, 1942. Photograph: TASS/TASS via Getty Images

Here's Maite's take on the book:

All people seem to want to talk about is Wonder Woman, and that is a good thing, it’s an important movie for many reasons, but at the end of the day, it’s only a comic book movie. It’s not going to change the world. But the women that Svetlana Alexievich gave voice to in War’s Unwomanly Face did help change the world, and they didn’t have Wonder Woman to inspire them to do that, they did it all because they knew they could. And, unsurprisingly, no one is talking about them. Most of them at the time (WW2) where just teenagers still in school or married women who weren’t that much older either. They bravely choose to fight for their country, to fight for years in a man’s war, while still being afraid, hungry, wishing for their mama’s like all the man also fighting. Except it was somehow harder for them, to be accepted among them, to give up everything they thought feminine that they couldn’t have while at war. 
They cried for their hair, they desperately tried to sew feminine underwear out of sacs of grains, and that’s all ok, they were allowed to miss those things while still killing enemies and dragging gravely ill people through the mud to their rescue. These women couldn’t talk about their war until this anonymous opportunity came along and it’s clear while reading this book that they desperately need to. So when Sim mentioned on Twitter that Alicia Vikander should play one of those women in a movie it’s like a shock when through me and I thought, why can't we have that? Having those brave real simple women portrayed in a movie will do far more to our generation than Wonder Woman or a female Bond ever could.

I'm adding The Unwomanly Face of War to my 'to be read' pile. And putting it on my Books We Wish Were Movies page. Wouldn't you love to see these brave female souls onscreen? What do you think?

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Movie Quotes: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

What are you good at?
                                                ‘Nothing, sir

     ‘You’re a good watcher, though, eh? 

       Us loners always are.
Mark Strong as Jim Prideaux
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Saturday Matinee: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Happy Birthday Mark Strong!

Before Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy I don't think I understood who Mark Strong actually was. That's even with my husband getting to know Strong on the set of 2006' Tristan and Isolde. The actor stole my heart in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and I've been a fan ever sinceIn fact, I'm probably the only person in the world who was disappointed when Low Winter Sun was cancelled and in my take on Before I Go to Sleep I moaned "When will someone cast Mark Strong as a romantic lead?" I'm still asking!

The tear that did me in

Today, in honor of Strong's birthdayAugust 5, 1963we'll go back to TTSS, in which he plays Jim Prideaux, the British agent in hiding as a teacher at a boy's school after a botched operation. That botched operation—due to a mole?—gets both Control and George Smiley fired. In the film they're back and on a mole hunt. It's thrilling in a quiet, intense, intimate way—as LeCarre's spyworld characters usually are. 

The movie's logline: 
In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6.

The film won the BAFTA for Best British Film as did the script by Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan. The screenplay was also nominated for an Oscar in the Screenplay Adaptation category as was the score by Alberto Iglesias. While it's the work of an amazing ensemble, with Mark Strong giving one of my favorite performances, it's also Gary Oldman's movie and he was also nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of George Smiley.

Personally, I give it high marks for period authenticity. Set in the 1970's, the costumes by Oscar winning desiner Jacqueline Durran—she got the win for Anna Karenina but was also nominated for Pride & Prejudice, Atonement—were extraordinary as was the production design by Maria Djurkovic (Imitation Game, The Hours). 

You can stream Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy on Netflix, YouTube, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay & Amazon. You can also get the film via Netflix' in the mail service. 

And now I'm going back in time to my original post, dated November 20, 2011. Hard to believe I've been blogging about movies based on books for almost seven years!

Late yesterday afternoon, my husband and I took a beautiful drive from our Los Angeles suburb up the coast to Santa Barbara. He had an invite from Focus Features for an industry screening to see Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Having recently read the book, I couldn't wait to see it and I'd asked him to watch for the screening announcement in the mail. 

At this time of year our mail is full of envelopes from the studios who screen their award season contenders at multiple locations and times through the end of the year. Sometimes they are held in small private screening rooms at a studio, other times they're at public theatres. Mark's DGA card entitles him to entry with a guest. By the time he actually plowed through the stack of envelopes and called the RSVP line, all the Los Angeles screenings had been booked up. Hence the lovely drive up the Pacific Coast Highway at sunset, the sea glimmering to the west, Ventura, Carpenteria, Summerland, Montecito and Santa Barbara to the east, green and lush, the small mountain range hovering in the background. I always love this drive; had the film turned out to be a bomb, the hour each way in the car would have been enough. It wasn't a bomb, but it may be box office wise.

The screening was held in a small theatre, the Plaza de Oro; The Descendants and The Way were Now Playing. Pedro Almadovar's The Skin I Live In was Coming Soon. There were less than twenty of us in the audience; Santa Barbara being a satellite location, they hadn't expected a throng. Mark and I were the youngest people in the theatre, it was clear the rest of the group were insiders with at least a nodding acquaintance with each other, driving over from tiled roof Spanish style homes in the tony town of Montecito, weekend getaway of the quietly rich and sometimes famous. 

The film started, sans the usual previews, typical for a screening. While the studio screening rooms don't have a snack bar, this theatre did but we passed on the popcorn and soda. The other notable thing that happens in a screening is most of the audience actually stays to watch the credits, something that never happens on a Saturday night at your local movie house. It's not just a sign of respect; you search the names looking for old friends and colleagues or because you were so wowed by the makeup you have to know who keyed it, where was it shot, who played that small but spectacular part?

And so it began. And right off the bat, it was different from LeCarre's gentle start with Jim Prideaux arriving at the school in its bucolic setting. Instead we are taken to the Circus right away. If I thought for a moment that the film might be leaving LeCarre's quiet suspense behind in favor of a more modern taste for fast action I was wrong. The film moves slowly but steadily along, with frequent flashbacks from this spy or that to explain what they knew, when they knew it, and who they told, thereby explaining the intricacies of the plot.

But do they? Having read the book, I had a pretty good handle on who the fairly large assortment of spys and counterspies were and what they were doing. And yes, in this somewhat tidied up version, a few of those names were lopped off; I wonder how easily the storyline is followed by someone who hasn't (heaven forbid) read the book first?

All the key players are that special brand of British actor—every movement solid and believable, no false notes. John Hurt as Control was every bit as wild and paranoid as his literary counterpart. I wonder if he will be considered for a Best Supporting nod.

I do think it wouldn't have hurt Gary Oldman to have picked up a pound or two to pad his girth so he could more readily be LeCarrés fat barefoot spy, and I admit to examining the lines on his face from one scene to another to determine their source, makeup or life. Makeup I think. Having said that, I thought he was quite wonderful in his patient, calm, quiet reserve on the exterior, George Smiley. He isn't really called upon to do much more than that though, with a couple of exceptions, one being where he sees his wife in the arms of another man. (Won't say whose arms for those who haven't read it) so I don't think it has the histrionics needed for award season.  The director has all but hidden the elusive Ann from our eyes, perhaps so we can create the perfect fantasy woman that Smiley holds her to be? There is a lovely moment when we view George from the back, as he sees Ann, his legs barely buckle at the sight. It's a very subtle and perfect touch.

Tom Hardy is sensual and gives us the touch of sex we all secretly crave but he's more than his full, almost pornographic lips. His recounting to Smiley of the Irina adventure is one of the most endearing and emotional scenes in the film.

Mark Strong isn't at all what I pictured when I read about Jim Prideaux and they've changed a bit about his role in the plot (in the book it's a little more action-oriented!) and I would have loved some more sweet moments with Bill Roach and the other boys but he won me over; his eyes tell a thousand tales. 

I really feel the need to imdb him and see everything else he's been in. My husband worked with him on Tristan and Isolde starring James Franco and says Strong is just a terrific guy, classically trained, brilliant and intensely likable.

Colin Firth, the film's resident movie star, as Bill Haydon was quite as charming as LeCarré intended but isn't he always? That mix of swagger and vulnerability, the offhand smile; he's quite deadly.

Benedict Cumberbatch will no doubt fetch a ton more 'cumberbitches' after this one, I think. He knows how to wear those 1960's clothes and he's a fantastic ally for good ol' George.

The director, Tomas Alfredson, is a Swede who has done mostly nordic television work so I can't quite fathom how he landed such a plum job. He did helm the vampire flick "Let the Right One In" which has a huge cult following. Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan wrote the screenplay together as they did Sixty Six,  a film I've never heard of. BUT Straughan also wrote The Debt and Men Who Stare at Goats so the writing assignment does make sense.

Grey and gloomy London, Budapest and Istanbul, the Circus with it's soundproof modules, tatty old English homes and Control's crazed hoarder's flat all read beautifully and authentically thanks to Maria Djurkovic's production design, and Hoyte Van Hoytema's cinematography. The costume design by veteran Jacqueline Durran was perfect in its imperfection, just what you would expect from someone who did the wardrobe for Atonement, Pride and Prejudice and Vera Drake. Her latest film is Anna Karenina (what? again?) with Keira Knightly and Jude Law; period pictures are clearly her element.

In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed the film while finding some of the English accents a bit muddled even for the daughter of a couple of Brits. I found its slow pace, revealing the ins and outs methodically, compelling. I'm just not sure if the film will find its audience; mature, appreciative viewers and readers who don't mind doing a bit of work following along to get to the end. No visual tricks, barely a gun shot. An ending that's a bit more telling than the book's and ultimately a bit more satisfying for those who like things tidy. I just found out from imdb John LeCarre is uncredited as a party guest. See if you can spot him.

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