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Three notebooks supposedly containing Russian military secrets are handed to a British publisher during a Russian book conference. The British secret service are naturally keen to learn if these notebooks are the genuine article. To this end, they enlist the help of the scruffy British publisher Barley Blair, who has plenty of experience with Russia and Russians. Barley, an unconventional character who doesn't respond well to authority, finds himself in a game more complex than he first thought when he digs into the origin of the notebooks. Written by
Murray Chapman <email@example.com>
During Blair's "start the avalanche" speech, Dante is seen at the end of the table. As the camera pans around the table during the speech, Dante disappears from the end of the table, and then reappears. See more »
I'm not the man you thought I was.
You do not have to remind me that man is not equal to his rhetoric.
See more »
Films that require you to pay close attention to every little detail and have a complex plot from the outset can generally be thrust into one of two categories: Stimulating and intellectual, or potential insomnia cures. The Russia House is the former... so keep taking the Nytol. There's much languid talk about politics, international trade, the Cold War, espionage... and for those expecting Sean Connery to slap on a tux and start blowing people away, and going to be sorely disappointed. If on the other hand, you LISTEN to what is being said and are open to the idea of getting small rewards along the way rather than shallow exhibitionism, than this may be right up your street.
Make sure all the windows are closed, the children are in bed, your bladder is empty... because you don't want any meaningless distractions while the story is being told. Not that it moves at a fast pace, but inconsequential moments have repercussions for later on, and simple snatches of dialogue could hold invaluable clues. Russia's never looked better, and the chief photographer captures Moscow in all it's architectural splendour. The much missed Connery (He's retired from acting now, believe it or not) does a sterling job as the amateur spy who doesn't know what side he's on, and sex-on-legs Pfeiffer has a dead-on Russian accent. At least to this untrained ear.
Maybe not for action junkies, but anyone else who appreciates much subtler qualities in film... Please step this way. 7/10
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