The Little Drummer Girl | Chicago Reader

The Little Drummer Girl

George Roy Hill was the William Wyler of the 80s: he makes watchable, even accomplished films out of whatever material he's given, but the lack of personal force makes all of his work seem minor. In this adaptation of John Le Carre's thriller, Hill concentrates on getting the complicated plot on the screen; he succeeds well enough, though he never seems to connect with the complexities of the main character (an American actress, played by Diane Keaton, who allows herself to be used in an Israeli plot to eliminate a Palestinian terrorist) or with the surreptitious sexual pull of Le Carre's story of epic masochism. There are moments when Hill's mise-en-scene has the striking clarity of a Hawks or McCarey, but when this clarity is applied to already oversimplified material, the result is simply simplicity squared. With Klaus Kinski and Yorgo Voyagis.

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