Published on: January 13, 2012
Two movies to talk about this week, each of which surprised me in different ways.
I had been looking forward to Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy
immensely; it is one of my favorite genres, and I thought that the combination of an intellectual spy thriller, some terrific actors (Gary Oldman, Colin Firth), and what appeared to be stylish production design would be hard to resist.
Sad to say, I felt let down by the experience, and I’m not entirely sure why. So many of the elements were perfect, and yet in some ways I felt like the total was less than the sum of its parts. I love spy thrillers, and I love to be caught off guard by the denouement of a cleverly constructed story - but in this case, the conclusion seemed perfunctory rather than organic. There was no delight, no real pleasure in watching Oldman’s spymaster, George Smiley, unravel the puzzle. I know I’m in the minority on this one, but that’s how I feel.The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
may be billed as “the feel bad movie of the year,” but I found it to be an exciting thriller, meticulously directed by David Fincher and well-acted by Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara. Fincher knows his way around serial killer movies, and his take on the best-selling novel is pretty much flawless - he doesn’t flinch from the really awful scenes of brutality that are difficult to watch but necessary to the story.
I’d seen the 2009 Swedish film version of the novel, and remembered loving it, feeling like it had taken me places I’d never seen before. I was chagrined to find that as the new film version unfolded, I recalled very little about the earlier movie. That was good for enjoyment purposes, but it made me think that the 2009 movie was less memorable that I’d thought.
I also have two wonderful red wines to recommend to you this week (both of which were brought to my attention by my wine merchant son, Brian)
• 2008 Chamonix Cabernet Sauvignon, from South Africa.
• 2007 Rock Face Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s North Coast.
Both are lovely - rich and full and perfect with a hunk of beef on a cool winter night.
That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you Monday.