The plot is simple. News magazine writer Pierre, who in his salad days was a top political reporter, has fallen from grace and is now lucky to pick up celebrity profile interviews. One night in New York he is assigned to interview a beautiful actress known for B movie horror films and highly sexed cable TV fare of the "Sex in the City" variety. Her only real claim to fame seems to be that she underwent a breast reduction operation, getting her implants removed.
Through a fluke what starts off as an interview so disastrous that both want to immediately end it, turns into an all night affair when he bumps his head in a fender bender accident outside the restaurant where they meet. Rather than going their separate ways, they wind up going to her spacious loft where they spend the next few hours bobbing and weaving around each other like a pair of good middle weight boxers. And over the course of the evening, we learn quite a bit about both of them, or so we think.
Steve Buscemi, who also directed, gets good marks for his acting, but even better for his work helming this story. He keeps it moving along with such energy and such conviction that one hardly notices that this is a two character set piece probably better suited to the theater and a small theater at that.
The real revelation for me, though, was Sienna Miller, who I had never seen before and know virtually nothing about. She sparkles as the under appreciated sex symbol who goes along with that game because it has made her rich and famous. But there would appear to be a lot more to her than meets the eye, and luckily for us, she is not played as the clichéd dumb blonde with a heart of gold Hollywood usually trucks out in this kind of story. Miller's character is smart, at times highly manipulative, and more than able to handle herself in a verbal street fight.
Whether in real life any actress, much less any journalist, would reveal their deepest secrets to a total stranger is highly questionable. But then part of the plothere is that we never quite know how much of what they say is the truth, and how much is manufactured. This is very much a story about how the media and celebrities use each other to attain their own ends.
So what we come out with in the end is people who are smarter than they seem, but maybe a little less ethical than we would like them to be. And first and foremost in that category is the journalist, who we come to realize is not only capable of stretching the truth when it suits his needs, but also of betraying confidences if that will further his career.
Miller's character is less easily defined, though, and some of that may be the script's fault, or some of that may be by design. There is a spot near the end of the film in which Miller's character clearly puts the mask back on. She re-establishes the wall between movie star and the member of the press who is there to interview her, nothing more.
What that says is that most of, maybe all of, what happened on this unusual night was an illusion. Was it just the under appreciated actress proving she was much better at her craft than people thought? Was it a girl pigeon holed as a bimbo proving she was just as smart as the condescending intellectual reluctantly interviewing her? We never quite know in the end and that may be "interview's" one failure, because in the end, we really want to like the actress. We're just not sure if we do.