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There are some nice things about this movie--the scenery/location in Russia, the Jerry Goldsmith score, the deliberate, thoughtful pace of this "spy thriller", but the one thing that really stuck out like a sore thumb for me was how old Sean Connery was and how young Michelle Pfeiffer was.
I don't know how old the characters are supposed to be in the novel, but I think Barley is supposed to be middle aged. To me, that would be around 50. And I could buy the female lead being 35. Or, if Barley is supposed to be 60, then I could buy the female lead being around 45. But seeing Connery and Pfeiffer together is just too jarring. It looks like a young girl and her grandpa.
Maintains a steady pace, but the fairly scattered plot details, the story not completely resolving or concluding, and personally needing to watch it 1 and a quarter times in order to understand the film, makes it overall weak but the main protagonists did a good job.
The plot is an interesting combination of espionage and romance, and it benefits from a great score and some beautiful locations, but it is just too bad that it is made into such an extremely dull affair in which the romance seems forced and the espionage is tedious to death.
Intelligent story about intelligence. Heart warming. Pfeiffer is shy, determined and glowing, Connery affable but shrewd. Loved it. It's in my list of top ten movies--lifetime.
Solid understated spy movie that is more about the reality of the game rather than action scenes. If you want shooting or chases look elsewhere because this is all talk and what's being said between the lines.
The story is a little long but the leads throw live into it.
a good movie 1 of the first AMerican movies to be filmed in the U.SS.R.
A beautifully filmed, acted, and scripted movie, and rather avant-garde at that. Great music by Jerry Goldsmith, God rest his soul; sticks to the novel pretty closely; and has a romantic approach to Russia and her people that one cannot help but get caught up in. One of Connery's and Pfeiffer's best--their chemistry is incredible, and the age difference isn't even noticed after a while because she is mature enough, and he is immature enough, to kind of meet halfway and have this cool sort of balance in their relationship. Even as a lifelong Bond and Ramius fan, in some respects I prefer Connery here to these other roles. He feels more real, more vulnerable, more cynical, and yet somehow more sophisticated and likable and indeed loving too. One of my favorites. My one criticism is that it can at times be confusing, but that's typical le Carré fare--that's what you want from le Carré--and being the Bond fan I am, I am probably just used to slightly more simplistic plots. I wish there were more movies like this, but that's what makes it special.
Although I liked Connery and Pfeiffer's acting, I found that actually understanding the significance of the notebooks and what happens with them was difficult. I had to watch it more than once to understand it.
Pretty good spy flick with a very good cast.