Predictions for the Best Actor Oscar seem to have overlooked Gary Oldman. His abilities to create incredible characters is surpassed by few, yet when he crafts the perfect secret agent who needs to be non-memorable, or disappear from a room like wallpaper, few recognize his ability because he does disappear.
In “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” Oldman plays just such a person with grace, dignity and accuracy. When he’s present in the room, few remember his presence. When he has to move with stealth, he does so without incident.
What amazed me by his performance was his perfect monologue. He didn’t drop a beat or reveal that he was an actor verbalizing his lines. He was so much caught up in his character that I only saw his character. There wasn’t even a momentary glitch in accent or movement. He was George Smiley.
I met Oldman on the set of The Dark Knight. My time with him only lasted about 30 seconds, but it was long enough to meet the real man and not the character of Lt. Jim Gordon that he constructed. The difference between him and his character was amazing. He knew exactly how to become the character that Christopher Nolan required and he performed it with excellence.
There are few master craftsmen left in Hollywood, as most actors seem to have come from the latest reality television program like Katherine McPhee’s “Shark Night in 3D.” It’s as if the likes of Dustin Hoffman and the Gary Oldman are becoming few and far between.
Let me just say outright, that Oldman deserves the Oscar for Best Acting this year, but first he has to be nominated – Not a small task. Regardless of his future notoriety, if you’re interested in seeing an incredible performance, check out Oldman’s George Smiley.