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The Interpreter (2005)

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Political intrigue and deception unfold inside the United Nations, where a U.S. Secret Service agent is assigned to investigate an interpreter who overhears an assassination plot.

Director:

Sydney Pollack

Writers:

Martin Stellman (story), Brian Ward (story) | 3 more credits »
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicole Kidman ... Silvia Broome
Sean Penn ... Tobin Keller
Catherine Keener ... Dot Woods
Jesper Christensen ... Nils Lud
Yvan Attal ... Philippe
Earl Cameron ... Zuwanie
George Harris ... Kuman-Kuman
Michael Wright ... Marcus
Clyde Kusatsu ... Police Chief Lee Wu
Eric Keenleyside ... Rory Robb
Hugo Speer ... Simon Broome
Maz Jobrani ... Mo
Yusuf Gatewood ... Doug
Curtiss Cook ... Ajene Xola (as Curtiss I'Cook)
Byron Utley ... Jean Gamba
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Storyline

Escalating events begin when U.N. interpreter Silvia Broome alleges that she has overheard a death threat against an African head of state, spoken in a rare dialect few people other than Silvia can understand. With the words "The Teacher will never leave this room alive," in an instant, Silvia's life is turned upside down as she becomes a hunted target of the killers. Placed under the protection of federal agent Tobin Keller, Silvia's world only grows more nightmarish. As Keller digs deeper into his eyewitnesses' past and her secretive world of global connections, the more suspicious he becomes that she herself might be involved in the conspiracy. With every step of the way, he finds more reasons to mistrust her. Is Sylvia a victim? A suspect? Or something else entirely? And can Tobin, coping with his own personal heartache, keep her safe? Though they must depend on one another, Silvia and Tobin couldn't be more different. Silvia's strengths are words, diplomacy and the subtleties of ... Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence, some sexual content and brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Universal [United States]

Country:

UK | France | Germany | USA

Release Date:

22 April 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La intérprete See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,822,455, 24 April 2005

Gross USA:

$72,708,161

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$162,944,923
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nicole Kidman's part was written with her in mind, as she has worked with Sydney Pollack several times before. It was rumored that he approached Naomi Watts about the lead role of Sylvia Broome, but this wasn't true. See more »

Goofs

The building where Simon Broome is shot, the Monumental, is a bullfighting ring, a remnant of Mozambique's Portuguese era. At the end of the film, as Silvia reads from her brother's list, she calls it a soccer stadium. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Simon Broome: She wouldn't tell me her husband's name. She wouldn't even write it.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in How Is Your Fish Today? (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

If I Had a Boat
Written by Lyle Lovett (uncredited) (as Lovett)
Performed by Lyle Lovett
Courtesy of Universal-Island Records Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Nicely textured suspense drama with a heart
1 May 2005 | by mstomasoSee all my reviews

Sydney Pollak has directed a lot of good films over the last 40 years, and this, though not his finest work, is one. But it's just 'good'. Pollak has a great sense of pacing and character development, and he puts both to work to good effect in this suspenseful high-stakes terrorism drama. Kidman and Penn deliver solid and memorable performances and are joined by an excellent supporting cast. The acting talent, clever though predictable plot, superior production and cinematography, and fearlessly quirky script are what makes this film work, despite a few rather absurd plot points.

Kidman unsurprisingly, dominates the screen with a powerful portrayal of a young South African translator for the UN, who overhears a plot to assassinate the genocidal president of her home country, Motambo. Penn plays a hard-nosed, recently widowed investigator assigned to the case. As the plot escalates, it becomes clear that Kidman herself is also a target and that she has secrets...

There are some problems with believability here. Most glaring is the fact that the intelligence agents and security people investigating Kidman and the plot to kill a genocidal African president in the U.N. are depicted as anything but intelligent. The identity of the perpetrator and the nature of the intended crimes should have been more or less obvious about half-way through the film, and the security team should have had a trap set and armed personnel crawling all over the entire building. It is also unlikely that anybody in Kidman's predicament would have been allowed to continue with unrestricted access to the UN, at virtually any time of day or night, more or less unwatched. And it is even more problematic that somebody with her background should be working at the UN in the first place. The actors' performances and the relationship which develops between the two main characters (which is really at least half the plot) help to gloss over the minor problems and make the film very entertaining and suspenseful. There are also some potentially powerful political messages just below the surface, but I never felt that these messages really emerged, and was left wondering if theyr were simply artistic flourishes or perhaps, posturing.


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