David Cornwell is best known to the world ad John Le Carre, author of TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY, THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL, RUSSIA HOUSE and dozens of others. He was a real world spy who took what he knew and made real world novels. For fours days not long before he died he sat down and talked to Errol Morris who then fashioned a portrait of the man that mirrors Le Carre's autobiography.
If you want a straight forward bio of Le Carre, look elsewhere. While the film focuses on the man's relationship with his father and the agencies he worked with the film doesn't go into detail on all the books he wrote and all the things he did. While the film isn't a boiler plate biography it is a stunning trip into the mind of the man. Its a film that gives you a wonderful sense of the emotional and mental place that he worked in.
I loved it. I found all sorts of insights into the novels. There were numerous ah ha moments as I connected things up. It was an absolute delight.
If there was any problem with the film its that the second half is not as briskly paced. It's not fatal but the adrenaline rush of the first just isn't there.
That said-I can't wait to see it again.
After the NYFF screening Morris did a brief Q&A...well he rambled for much of the time, which was interesting but didn't end up meaning much. (And I won't discuss his response to the one question from the audience which was kind of mortifying.