One of the reasons the film works so well is that all of the acting is first-rate. McGregor plays a convincingly innocent civilian caught in the crossfire of the British Secret Service and the Russian Mafia. On vacation with his partner, he encounters more than he can chew when he meets Dima. Skarsgard is a perfect fit for his role as a Russian Mafia defector. He gains the trust of McGregor and the audience's trust with his playfulness and modesty. If I was in Perry's shoes, I would have totally trusted Dima as well. He is such a powerful character that contributes so much to the story development. Naomie Harris (Skyfall, Spectre) and Damian Lewis (Homeland) also contribute quite a bit to this film as supporting actors.
Usually I preach for original screenplays, but le Carre's novels are so adaptable to the big screen that I can't help but yearn for more adapted novels. A Most Wanted Man turned out to be one of my favorite Philip Seymour Hoffman roles of all time. Although that is the only other le Carre story I have seen, I bet Oldman's role in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy would have a similar effect. Maybe its the directors's contributions as well, but its hard for me to praise Susanna White too much since this film is her first one after Nanny McPhee Returns. Who knows, this might just be the story she needed to fully rebound her filmography.
The Bottom Line: As another adapted screenplay from John le Carre's filmography, this one features another star-studded cast portraying their best acting skills.
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