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September 6, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

Critics have poured gushing praise on the movie version of John Le Carré’s spy novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which was presented in competition Monday at the Venice Film Festival. “The film is a triumph,” wrote David Gritten in the London Telegraph. “It’s the film to beat at this year’s festival,” said Xan Brooks of the Guardian. And Geoffrey Macnab in the Independent calls it “a rattling good spy yarn.” Deborah Young of the Hollywood Reporter was not so effusive but nevertheless called the movie “a solid piece of thinking-man’s entertainment for upmarket thriller audiences.” And therein lies the concern that apparently caused Universal to bow out of financing the film (it will distribute it) and for France’s StudioCanal to step in. The film lacks the fast-paced action that U.S. studio executives apparently believe is required to produce box office success for spy thrillers. But at a news conference following the screening on Monday, Oscar winner Colin Firth, who has a supporting role in the film, said, “I do think there is a tendency to underestimate audiences, I do think there is an appetite to be stretched. I do think people want to hear language at its best on the screen. I’m optimistic about it having an enormous audience.”