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The premise here is that Steve Buscemi is a washed-up political reporter who is assigned to interview a tabloid-fodder actress known for her direct-to-video horror movie sequels (played by Sienna Miller). Neither one of them wants to do the interview but they wind up spending the entire evening together and (maybe) revealing a bit of the real person behind their defenses. The whole thing is a little contrived -- it's the sort of piece where both characters spend the first half complaining about how much they dislike the other, but neither one is willing to leave or ask the other to -- but the snappy patter and excellent performances sucked me in and I happily went along for the ride. Of course Buscemi is great, but Miller was surprisingly good as well, digging into the part of a sex symbol who isn't taken seriously with a lot of enthusiasm and self-confidence.
"Interview" is something of an old fashioned two character drama
updated to cover questions about just how much of the information we
get in today's media saturated world can be trusted.
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.
Greetings again from the darkness. The film is based on the original
screenplay by Theodor Holman and a 1993 version directed by Vincent Van
Gogh distant relative Theo Van Gogh, who was shot and killed in
Amsterdam. Theo Van Gogh, a renowned journalist, once said "I prefer
covering the war between a woman and a man." With this remake, director
and actor Steve Buscemi does a wonderful job of doing just that.
The set-up is simple enough. Buscemi plays a political journalist whose editor believes has lost his edge and is now assigning him fluff pieces. Enter the fluff piece ... a beautiful actress who is known more for her off screen "romances" than on screen talent. Sienna Miller plays the actress Katya and delivers an outstanding performance; by far, the best of her career. She is all over the place with the role, but stays focused on the internal torment and remarkable people smarts that Buscemi's Pierre is lacking.
Along the lines of "My Dinner with Andre" and "Before Sunset", there is an enormous amount of dialogue and interaction between the two leads, who are on screen 95% of the time. Quite a statement in human nature's preponderance to pre-judge others, this is like peeling back the layers of an onion as each character uncovers a bit more about the other over alcohol, screaming and tender moments. Of course, the whole time the viewer is skeptical about which stories are real and which are fabricated or embellished for the purpose of the moment.
Really an interesting film and directed with a nice touch by Buscemi, who is also at his usual high level of acting. Don't miss the quick glimpse of the real life Dutch star Katja Schuurman, who was in the Van Gogh version of the film. She is the lady who steps from the limo and greets Buscemi's character. A must see for those who love the structure of scenes with dialogue rather than special effects. And remember, there is always a winner and a loser.
This movie was originally made in Netherlands (2002) by a Dutch
Director Theo Van Gogh. As I am staying in Amsterdam, that know-how
interested me and on top of that I have a liking for Steve Buscemi
(obviously after seeing Fargo).
This is a story of a political journalist Pierre Peters (Steve) who is given a job to interview a B-grade movie celebrity Katya (Sienna Millers). They meet each other at a restaurant, dislike each other instantly, part their ways and immediately bump into each other again to land up in Katya's spacious flat. The remaining story unfolds with each of them trying to outsmart the other by being witty. There is a final twist in the movie that makes the viewers satisfy.
Both the characters are complex, especially of Katya and I should say that even though Sienna Millers has tried her best and acted well too, still her character remains un-defined and shallow. This is the major slack in the scripting. Steve is wonderful and decent in this role. This is a special kind of cinema mostly experimental where the camera revolves around two characters in a room. But obviously Steve would have found the original movie so inspirational that he took the challenge to Amercianise it with him on the driving seat as Director and Lead Actor.
Good movie, especially if you are of a kind you are a risk-taking movie goer, and open to different kind and genre of cinema.
(Stars: 6.5 out of 10)
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Interview proves itself an actor's dream.
Co-written and directed by Steve Buscemi, the film is an insightful, at
times intense exploration of the nature of celebrity, as experienced by
a world-wearied, overly cocksure political journalist who'd do well not
to underestimate his beautiful interviewee.
Buscemi is Pierre, the flailing reporter who begrudgingly finds himself waiting to interview Katya (Sienna Miller), the latest in a long line of flash-in-the-pan Hollywood It Girls. As played by Miller, Katya is a charming, supercilious, seductive, wild-tempered, pouting, screaming enigma, proving much more densely layered than the Paris Hilton clone who first presents herself to Pierre at the restaurant an hour late, tiny handbag yapping with the sound of a miniature dog mobile ringtone. While it's clear the uninterested and impolite Pierre initially cares very little for his subject, a strange relationship begins to emerge between the unlikely pair as the evening takes a turn for the unexpected, with an injured Pierre invited back to Katya's spacious loft. Once here, moods swing violently, old wounds re-open and skeletons emerge from closets, an uneasy air of sexual tension underscoring the proceedings.
Buscemi is certainly an excellent director of actors, himself not only in fine, sharply skewed form, but also earning from Miller possibly her best performance to date. This is literally a two-character piece, and thanks to the powers of both actors, Interview remains in constant command of our attention. If there's one complaint, it's that the film at times feels overly stagey, but this is a small grievance when weighed against the superior performances on show. The hand-held digital camera-work ably services a voyeuristic plot, and the script crackles with caustic repartee.
The remake of a film by murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gough, Interview is a tight, engaging drama with a thick nasty streak and an acutely barbed final act. It's a fine showcase for both Buscemi the actor and the filmmaker, and promises excellent things to come from Miller.
It felt like it was half finished. I expect Buscemi was meant to be the
villain of the piece but I ended up feeling far more sympathy for his
character than I did for Sienna Miller's protagonist.
Maybe that was intentional but it left me feeling less than satisfied with the ending and at a running time of under 80 minutes, it felt like there could have been a lot more to the story. While I can appreciate films which leave you to fill in the blanks as you see fit - such as the otherwise completely dissimilar "The World According to Garp" - this film felt like it could have benefited from another half hour of story. Perhaps redemption of either character or revenge for/reversal of the trick Miller's character pulls on Buscemi's.
That said it was extremely well written and directed and the performances by both leads were pretty exceptional, hence a high score, but for the dissatisfaction I felt with the ending it would have been an 8 or even 9 out of 10 for me.
Much more interesting and better done than I expected. I'm usually not an advocate for remakes, but when they are done to honor the original film instead of to simply make money I'm all for it. This one does that and more and is the best remake since The Departed. It works for a long list of reason's, most particularly because of the performances. Buscemi is fantastic as a slime ball and always has been. This is one of his better performances of the last couple of years. He relishes in this character, and it shows. He is funny, and disturbing at the same time. Sienna Miller has been becoming a better and better actress over the last year or so. She deserved an Oscar nomination for her performance in the underrated Factory Girl last year, and deserves another one for Interview. She plays a roll similar to herself, or at least her image. Many people say this is easier, but it actually isn't. It is extremely difficult and very emotionally draining. It is rare to find a performance like this that works so well. She is stunning, and deserves better work. The style of the film is interesting. This is thanks to Buscemi's odd, and very experimental direction. Against the odds it works, and elevates the film above just strong acting. Much of the style can also be attributed to the screenplay. The dialogue and characters are expertly drawn. They also are odd, and occasionally stilted, but that's part of why they work so well. It's been a long time since such a stilted and mediocre script worked so perfectly. Even when I say all this though I must say I did have some problems. While I was consistently entertained the "message", if you will, never quite came across. It is a strong one, and should have been paid more attention too. The director of the original film was a strong advocate for free speech, and stood for many wonderful things. He was murdered in 2004 tragically for offending someone with something he said and believed. This film is obviously channeling his beliefs and I just wish it had either forgotten them, or drawn them a little better. However it still works perfectly as an entertainment, which is after all the point of movies.
Remake of Theo Van Gogh's film of the same name. This is the story of a
self important reporter forced to do a celebrity interview with an
actress "best known for who she sleeps with".
Good but far from deep-despite what the film thinks-sparring between characters is an amusing if at sometimes uncomfortable 85 minutes. The joy here is watching the actors do what the do best. The real joy here is watching Sienna Miller who proves she really can act. After a few borderline roles and a cringe inducing performance (at least in the trailer) in Stardust she proves that she is oh so much better than we are giving her credit for (clearly she really isn't just an actress best known for insulting cities and whom she sleeps with).
If there is any flaws its a couple of odd twists that seem to occur just to have something dramatic happen and to prove what bad people the characters are. Its a minor flaw.
Is it worth seeing? Yes. But I don't know if it really needs to be seen on the big screen
This is a solid effort by Steve Buscemi and his co-star Sienna Miller. It would do well as a 2 character play on the 99 equity circuit. Buscemi lays good ground work in developing his character early, while Miller shows her stuff gradually. I found them both believable and not typical Hollywood movies fakes. The things that happened to them seemed real, and the writing was solid. I was impressed by Millers effort, she showed the person and the emotion behind her character. Buscemi took the time to let the audience gradually learn the people behind the show-biz mask. I cared about both people which is my fundamental requirement for any art form. I get pleasure from real professionals doing a god workmanlike job. Kudos to both!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is weird. It starts out interesting enough with Steve
Buscemi playing a political reporter who has to do a story on starlet
Sienna Miller and can't really hide his contempt for this.
But it doesn't go anywhere. It's a chamber play, 90% of the film take place in the starlet's loft. The two of them go back and forth and the producer's would probably try to sell this as a soul striptease, or an emotional tour de force, but it's totally pointless.
The dialog most of time is artificial, both characters say and do things that just feel unnatural. And all those dark secrets they're supposed to reveal in the process are boring and disappointing. The screenplay is not funny, it's not clever or philosophical, neither dramatic nor mysterious.
And after almost 90 minutes of this you ask yourself: why make a script-driven movie if there's nothing to say?
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