Cinema: Spy Stasis

THE RUSSIA HOUSE

Directed by Fred Schepisi

Screenplay by Tom Stoppard

Guys in suits. Sitting around talking. Grant that their conversations are often agitated. Grant too that what they are discussing is not inherently uninteresting. Even so, this is not the most stirring territory for a movie to explore, and The Russia House spends entirely too much downtime in safe houses and situation rooms with an international team of spymasters and not enough quality time with their agent on the scene in Moscow and Leningrad.

He is boozy Barley Blair (Sean Connery), a fringe English publisher. With the help of a...

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