Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Based on the 1974 novel of the same name, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a 2011 film that follows the hunt for a Soviet spy within MI6 (yes, that’s James Bond’s organization). Gary Oldman plays George Smiley, a semi-retired British spy, who is put on the case to uncover the double agent before it’s too late. Nominated for three Academy Awards, including Oldman for Best Actor, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy is a skillfully put together espionage film that perfectly blends a sense of mystery, suspense, and drama. (Not So) Fun Fact: Oldman has yet to win an Oscar.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
In keeping with the Oscar theme, this film was nominated for five Academy Awards, with one win for Best Film Editing. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a thriller directed by David Fincher and is the English-language version of the Swedish film of the same name. The movie follows Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander, brilliantly played by Daniel Craig and Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara, as they join together to figure out what happened to a girl who has been missing for over 40 years. Fun Fact: The many piercings that Mara has in the film are real — she had them done specifically for the role.
The Descendants is a 2011 film nominated for five Academy Awards, with one win for Best Adapted Screenplay. The movie traces the life of Matt King (George Clooney), a land baron who labels himself as a “back-up parent.” But when a boating accident puts his wife in a coma, King begins to uncover a lot more about his family than he ever thought possible. The Descendants was critically acclaimed for nearly everything, including acting, soundtrack, and visuals. Fun Fact: Jim Rash, who co-won for Best Adapted Screenplay, is one of the stars on the television show Community.
The fourth 2011 film this week, Melancholia, wasn’t nominated for an Academy Award, although it did get Kirsten Dunst Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival. This somewhat trippy sci-fi drama directed by Lars von Trier revolves around the strained relationship between two sisters (Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg) and how the imminent collision between Earth and another planet affects that relationship. Melancholia is told in two parts — one for each sister — and, if nothing else, is a wholly unforgettable film. Fun Fact: There were no rehearsals for this movie; the actors improvised during takes and took instructions afterward.