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Movies: Past, present and future

Category: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Oscars 2012: Gary Oldman talks about nomination, George Clooney

January 24, 2012 | 10:23 am


Click for photos of the top nominees


It's somewhat astonishing that Gary Oldman has never been nominated for an Oscar, but the veteran actor will be competing in the best actor race at the 84th Academy Awards -- for his nominated performance as taciturn agent George Smiley in the slow-burning drama "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." 24 Frames caught up with Oldman in Berlin, where he's preparing for the German premiere of the movie. 

"It's very fitting that I'm in the city which was the mecca for spies and where eventually Smiley gets his man," Oldman said. "So I hear about an Oscar nomination in Berlin for playing George Smiley. I mean a screenwriter couldn't put it together better."

How did you find out about the nomination?

I was actually giving an interview -- it's nearly 5 p.m. here -- for a German newspaper, and my manager came in and looked a little teary-eyed and shook my hand and said, "Congratulations you're an Oscar nominee."

FULL COVERAGE: The Oscar nominees

What does this movie mean to you, your first Oscar nomination?

I'm very proud of the film. And really it’s been quite a ride. We had a huge success in the U.K., and we opened in America to incredible reviews and amazing box office. It continues to make money. I'm proud of my work in it and the film and everyone involved. So, to be nominated is one thing but to be nominated particularly for this film and this role, it's a nice feeling.

Who else do you like in this year’s race?

I've seen a great many of them. Some are nominated, and some are not. I'm a George Clooney fan. And I love Brad Pitt. I love Ryan Gosling.

Do you have a favorite Clooney film in this race?

I like him as a director. And I thought he was particularly good in "The Ides of March." That's not to say I don't like him in "The Descendants." I had seen the play, and I liked what he did with that story. I thought he and his co-workers did a very nice adaptation of it.

Do you get any time to celebrate?

No. I've got to now get into my suit and present this movie in Berlin. But it feels terrific for this one.


The following video is from the Envelope Directors Roundtable. Here, filmmakers George Clooney ("The Ides of March"), Stephen Daldry ("Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"), Michel Hazanavicius ("The Artist"), Alexander Payne ("The Descendants") and Martin Scorsese ("Hugo") sat down with The Times' John Horn at the recent Envelope Directors Roundtable and talked about the importance and challenges of assembling a good cast.


And the nominees are ...

PHOTOS: 84th Academy Awards nominees

"The Artist," Scorsese's "Hugo" shine brightest

-- Nicole Sperling

Photo: Gary Oldman. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

Oscars 2012: 'Tinker Tailor' nomination honors late playwright

January 24, 2012 |  9:36 am

Click for photos of the top nominees

The cerebral British spy drama "Tinker Tailor Solider Spy" received three Oscar nominations Tuesday morning -- one for its star, Gary Oldman, another for its score by Alberto Iglesias and a third for its adapted screenplay by Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan. In the case of the script, though, the nomination comes posthumously for O'Connor, a playwright (and Straughan's wife) who died of cancer at the age of 49 in September.

“I'm stunned and thrilled to hear about the nomination," Straughan said in a statement. "I wish more than anything in the world that my wife Bridget O'Connor -- who did the lion's share of the adaptation -- could be here to enjoy this moment. She would be so happy and so proud. I'm going to go and meet my daughter now and tell her how clever her mother was!”

O'Connor was the author of the prizewinning play "The Flags," as well as collections of short stories and several plays for radio and theater.

PHOTOS: Celebrities react to their nominations

Adapted from the John le Carre Cold War novel that previously inspired a 1979 BBC miniseries, "Tinker Tailor" is set in 1973 and tells the story of the search for a mole at the top levels of British intelligence. Oldman plays George Smiley, the taciturn agent who's tasked with ferreting out the treachery. The film is directed by Tomas Alfredson, who previously made the critically acclaimed atmospheric vampire tale "Let the Right One In."

"For me 'Tinker Tailor' is not really a spy movie," the director told The Times last year. "It's a film about friendship and loyalty, and the personal costs for soldiers in the Cold War."

-- Gina McIntyre and Steven Zeitchik


And the nominees are ...

PHOTOS: 84th Academy Awards nominees

Pals Clooney, Pitt are rivals; ‘Artist,’ ‘Hugo’ dominate

Photo: Gary Oldman in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" Credit: Focus Features

Around Town: Films, screenings and more in L.A. this week

January 4, 2012 | 12:17 pm


This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.

With Gary Oldman getting strong reviews and Oscar buzz for his performance as spy George Smiley in “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” the Arclight in Hollywood is offering a six-film retrospective of the British actor’s career beginning Monday with 1986’s “Sid and Nancy,” in which he played punk rocker Sid Vicious, followed by Oliver Stone’s 1991 “J.F.K.,” which features his tenacious performance as Lee Harvey Oswald.

Oldman’s performance as a U.S. congressman in 2000’s “The Contender” is on display on Tuesday, along with his “biting” turn as the most famous vampire in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 “Dracula.” Scheduled for Wednesday is his turn as playwright Joe Orton in 1987’s “Prick Up Your Ears,” directed by Stephen Frears, followed by “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.”

After the "Tinker, Tailor" screening, Oldman will participate in a Q&A with Matt Holzman, host of KCRW’s “Matt’s Movies.” The admission to the retrospective is free, but tickets are only available via RSVP through www.OldmanRSVP.com. www.arclightcinemas.com

The American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre concludes its annual “Screwball Comedies” Festival Thursday evening with Howard Hawks’ 1941 romantic comedy “Ball of Fire,” starring Barbara Stanwyck in her Oscar-nominated performance as a nightclub singer on the lam who hides out with a group of encyclopedia nerds. Gary Cooper plays the nerd working on slang who falls for Stanwyck.

The second feature is the 1937 classic “The Awful Truth,” for which director Leo McCarey won the best director Oscar. Cary Grant and Irene Dunne, who earned an Oscar nomination, star.

On Friday, the Aero celebrates the centennial of New Mexico’s statehood with Sam Peckinpah’s 1973 Western “Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,” with Kris Kristofferson and James Coburn. Nick Redman, Peckinpah’s biographer and documentary filmmaker; Peckinpah’s assistant Katy Haber; editor Garth Craven; and the film’s co-star, Charles Martin Smith, will discuss the movie after the screening.

Director J.J. Abrams and members of his cast and crew will be appearing Saturday evening at the Aero Theatre for a screening of Abrams' sci-fi coming-of-age 2011 box office hit, “Super 8.” Sunday evening, the Aero presents the 2010 French comedy-drama “Eight Times Up,” which explores the topic of unemployment. Director Xabia Molia and star and co-producer Julie Gayet will appear in person.

Every year the Cinematheque presents the “Golden Globe Foreign-Language Nominee Series.” The Globes take place Jan. 15. This year's programming begins Monday evening at the Aero with Angelina Jolie’s feature film debut, “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” which is in Bosnian with English subtitles. The series continues Tuesday with Pedro Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In,” which marks a reunion with one of the Spanish director’s early muses, Antonio Banderas. The critically lauded Iranian film, “A Separation,” which has already earned several critics’ accolades, screens Wednesday.

The Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theatre presents its seventh annual “Focus on Female Directors” evening on Thursday. Among the films screening are Maryna Vroda’s “Cross,” which won the 2011 Palme d’Or for best short film; Jess Holzworth’s 2011 “Gamma Ray,” with Chloe Sevigny; Mitsuyo Miyazaki’s award-winning 2011 USC student film, “Tsuyako”; and Penelope Spheeris’ 1998 “No Use Walkin’ When You Can Stroll.” Spheeris and other directors featured in the program will be appearing.

Two cult coming-of-age classics, 1985’s “The Goonies” and 1986’s “Stand By Me,” are scheduled for Friday evening at the Egyptian.

On Saturday evening, Jeff Garlin of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” will be leading a discussion after the screening of “The Honeymooners: Lost Episodes 1951-1957.”

The current film “My Week with Marilyn” explores the turbulent production of the 1957 film, “The Prince and the Showgirl,” starring Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier. On Sunday the Egyptian will screen “The Prince and the Showgirl,” along with the 1959 Billy Wilder comedy masterwork, “Some Like It Hot,” with Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis. www.americancinematheque.com

The UCLA Film & Television Archive commences its three-month retrospective on Oscar-winning actor Spencer Tracy on Saturday evening at the Billy Wilder Theatre with “Inherit the Wind,” Stanley Kramer’s 1960 film version of the hit Broadway play based on the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial, for which Tracy earned an Oscar nomination as an attorney based on Clarence Darrow. Fredric March also stars. James Curtis, author of the new Tracy biography, and “Wind” co-star Donna Anderson will be in attendance.

Scheduled for Sunday is his first feature film, 1930’s “Up the River,” which also marked the feature debut of Humphrey Bogart, followed by the 1930 Vitaphone short, “The Hard Guy.”

The archive’s Wednesday program at the Million Dollar Theater in downtown Los Angeles is the campy 1966 prehistoric drama “One Million Years B.C." starring Raquel Welch in very revealing outfits and the 1940 version “One Million B.C.” with Victor Mature. www.cinema.ucla.edu

Jean-Luc Godard’s 1967 satire “Weekend” visits the Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre on Thursday through Wednesday in a new 35mm print. On Monday, Cinefamily presents a feature length edition of Season One of David Cross’ IFC series “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret,” followed by a Q&A with the actor (“Arrested Development”), who created and writes the series, which begins its second season Friday evening. www.cinefamily.org

And on Saturday the Los Angeles Filmforum teams up with Cinefamily to present “Wallace Berman’s Underground Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980, Screening 9." Toni Bail and Russ Tamblyn are scheduled to appear in person, schedule permitting. www. lafilmforum.org

The New Beverly Cinema showcases Werner Herzog’s latest documentary, “Into the Abyss,” on Thursday evening, followed by Errol Morris’ 1999 doc, “Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter Jr." Two by Pedro Almodovar are featured Friday and Saturday -- his 2011 drama “The Skin I Live In” followed by 2009’s “Broken Embraces” with Penelope Cruz. Saturday’s midnight movie is David Fincher’s 1999 “Fight Club,” with Brad Pitt and Edward Norton.

Sunday and Monday’s offerings are Luc Besson’s 1997 action-adventure “The Fifth Element,” with Bruce Willis and Chris Tucker, as well as 2001’s “Cowboy Bebop: The Movie.”

Mark Romanek, schedule permitting, will appear in person Wednesday at the New Beverly for a screening of his 2010 drama, “Never Let Me Go.” Also screening is Francois Truffaut’s only English-language film, 1966’s “Fahrenheit 451,” based on the novel by Ray Bradbury. www.newbevcinema.com

The 7th Annual Santa Clarita Valley Film Festival kicks off Thursday and continues through Sunday at the Repertory East Playhouse in Old Town Newhall and features comedies, dramas, animation and shorts, plus works by budding filmmakers in junior high and high school. www.SCVFilmFestival.com

The 9th Annual Venice Film Festival, which explores the history of films made in Venice, Calif., takes place Thursday at the Seven Dudley Cinema at Beyond Baroque. laughters.com/7dudleycinema.html.

The Free Tunisia Organization is presenting the New Tunisian Film Festival Tuesday through Thursday at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre. The festival also marks the one-year anniversary of the Tunisian uprising. Among the films to be screened are “Fallaga 2011,” “Making of,” “Fausse Note” and “Rouge Parole.” www.levantinecenter.org/event/tunisian-film-festival.

Stanley Donen directed the acclaimed 1967 romantic comedy-drama “Two for the Road,” with Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney, which screens Tuesday afternoon at the Skirball Cultural Center. www.skirball.org

[For the record, 4:03 p.m. Jan. 5: This post originally listed Spencer Tracy's retrospective as a two-month engagement launching on Friday. The retrospective is three months and launches Saturday.]


'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy': Betsy Sharkey's film pick

-- Susan King

Photo: Tom Hardy, left, and Gary Oldman in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" Credit: Jack English/Focus Features


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