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 Russian and Russians. Barley, an unconventionally 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. –IMDb
Fred Schepisi AO (born 26 December 1939) is an Australian film director and screenwriter. His credits include: Last Orders, Roxanne, Plenty, and Six Degrees of Separation.
Schepisi was born Frederic Alan Schepisi in Melbourne, Victoria, the son of fruit dealer Frederic Thomas Schepisi and Loretto Ellen (née Hare). He began his career in advertising and directed both commercials and documentaries before helming his first feature film, The Devil’s Playground, in 1976.
Schepisi won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Direction and the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Screenplay for both The Devil’s Playground and Evil Angels (released in the US as A Cry in the Dark).
In 1991, his film The Russia House was nominated for the Golden Bear at the 41st Berlin International Film Festival.
In 2005 Schepisi directed and co-produced the HBO miniseries Empire Falls, for which he was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries… read more
Despite this being an incredibly average plot, it's well acted, beautifully photographed, and I absolutely adore its 'fuck your political east/west bullshit, I'm not working for either of you and I'm running away with the woman I love' denoument.
Handsome but incredibly tepid adaptation of John LeCarre's espionage tale boasts an impressive cast, an elegant Jerry Goldsmith score, and absolutely beautiful location photography of Moscow. But director Fred Schepisi and Tom Stoppard's convoluted script fail to generate even an ounce of suspense or tension. A stately, visually impressive dud.