Imagine this for your daily routine.

Open the curtains. Close the curtains. Turn on the tape. Listen. Turn off the tape. Make "piss" coffee. Tell no one. Open the curtains. Hear a murder. Accidentally become involved with shady individuals. Close the curtains. Go home.

If that daily routine appeals to you then we may "know a guy who knows a guy" who has a job. If that doesn't your idea of a "good day", then maybe the film version will. Introducing: the perfectly paced political espionage Scribe (La mécanique de l'ombre). It weaves a tale of murder, puzzle pieces, and a double-cross into a narrative that John Le Carre would be proud of. There are no set-pieces here; instead the thoroughly entertaining plot relies on strong performances, a familiar political decision (resolving a hostage situation), and snappy dialogue where no sentence feels wasted.

The film centres around Duval (played brilliantly by François Cluzet), an accountant with a drinking problem whose addiction gets the worst of him. Attempting to get his life back on track, Duval needs a job or what he refers to as a "framework". It's this need that gets exploited when he's approached for a role at a security firm that reluctantly drags Duval into the world of political espionage.

The Scribe

Working as a transcriber for tapped phones, Duval works mechanically, barely registering what he's hearing until a tape appears to be an audio capture of a murder. It's only then that the ball of string starts to unravel. Can he stay quiet as requested by his mysterious employer or will his internal trauma cause him to reach out to those he holds closest? It's then that the film kicks into gear as his personal life is dragged into his now dangerous work life.

If you prefer your spy films less Mission Impossible and more Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, then Scribe will suit your film palette like a 3 star Michelin Star Meal.

Scribe, directed by Thomas Kruithof, premiered on Thursday 6 October at the 2016 BFI London Film Festival. Go here to learn more.