If you are feeling cocky – a bit too smart for your own good – I highly recommend a viewing of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. It is bound to make you feel like an idiot. Getting through this film is an exercise in frustration. I went with 5 very intelligent friends (several of whom have PhDs, not that you should need one to see a goddam movie) and not one of us understood this movie. It actually made me very angry: the film is deliberately confusing, vague, and complex. It took me at least half the movie to even be sure of many of the characters’ names. Most of the film is comprised of 20-second scenes: just as you are starting to grasp who the character is and where he is (oh yes, all the characters are male) it’s off to a different time period, a new character, and a new place. I tried to relax, let the film wash over me, accept that maybe this intense frustration at not grasping the storyline was just the way the filmmakers intended it to be, but by the time the credits rolled I wanted my money and the last two hours’ of my life back. I do not need help feeling stupid. I do not need John le Carre’s help with this. On the last day of the Christmas holidays all I wanted was a good bit of intrigue and excitement. I wish I’d seen Mission Impossible 4 instead.