Oscars 2012: Why ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ Deserved A Best Picture Nod

Nine films are nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards this year, begging the question: who deserved a tenth spot on that list? “Oscars 2012: 10 Spot” answers that question, as the MTV Movies team highlights some of 2011’s greatest films and argues why they deserved a nod as the tenth Best Picture nominee.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” deserved the tenth spot in the Best Picture category for reasons based in both quality and politics. Many Oscar analysts reasoned that the Tomas Alfredson film could pull off a surprise nomination based on the prominence of the British contingent within the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, a big factor in last year’s win for “The King’s Speech,” but that was not the case.

The spy story, based on the novel by John le Carré, has been loved in the UK since its release and the famous miniseries adaptation starring Alec Guinness, so revisiting “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” on the big screen came with challenges already built in.

What Alfredson delivered was an aesthetically beautiful, cold and cool suspense thriller that lived up to the legacy set by all of the previous iterations. He most certainly had the help of Gary Oldman, who turned in a career performance as the subdued but exacting George Smiley, the man tasked with finding a Soviet mole in British intelligence.

In a field of safe, easily accessible Best Picture nominees (“Tree of Life” being the welcome exception), the purposely confusing structure of “Tinker Tailor” would have helped the Academy fight off accusations of simply taking Oscar bait. The quality is certainly there, as evident by the Adapted Screenplay nomination for Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan, and the star-studded ensemble added a cold reality to each quietly tense scene.

Unfortunately, the Academy went the route of much safer picks, simultaneously passing over more complex and interesting pictures of which “Tinker Tailor” is but one example.

The MTV Movies team has the 2012 Oscars covered! Stick with us for everything you need to know leading up to the awards show, and on Sunday, February 25, tune into MTV.com at 5:30 p.m. ET for our three-hour red-carpet live stream and updates on the night’s big winners.