In an otherwise drab and dreary cast of moody British spies clad in heavy tweed, Russian actress Svetlana Khodchenkova shines in the terrific Tinker Tailor Solider Spy. This film will undoubtedly be remembered as her breakout role, and the few scenes she is in leave us wanting much more. There is a slow and steady elegance to the film, and the sometimes laborious pacing shuns the too-often distracting techniques of modern thrillers. Once you settle in, the story unfolds remarkably and you are left feeling like you just stepped back in time to the Cold War, 1960’s London, Budapest, Istanbul and Paris. It was an interesting decision to alter these key cities from the book, which set vital chapters in Czechoslovakia and Hong Kong instead of Budapest and Istanbul. For the 28 year old, Moscow-born Svetlana, the question will be whether she can take on Western roles requiring perfect English. Although her breathless Russian is a thing of beauty and welcome anytime.

A scene from the film:

On the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival in September 2011:

Category: Beauty.

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