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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:

£1,589,829 (United Kingdom), 17 April 2005, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,822,455, 24 April 2005, Wide Release

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

Jackie Chan received a script for the film (the only time he's been offered a dramatic role in a US film), but told his manager "no," feeling his English wasn't strong enough at the time for a dialogue-heavy role. He later ran into Nicole Kidman at the Huading Awards in China, and told her this story. See more »

Goofs

In an early scene agent Keller (Sean Penn) is shown with a glass on a bar. The glass has about an inch of booze in it. Scene cuts to him removing his wedding ring and putting it in the glass... which is now empty. See more »

Quotes

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

Hey Grandma
Written by Jerry Miller (as Miller) and Don Stevenson (as Stevenson)
Performed by Moby Grape
Courtesy of Sony BMG Music Entertainment (UK) Limited
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User Reviews

 
A thinking person's thriller
19 March 2006 | by jlowrySee all my reviews

Entry to the United Nations headquarters in New York (and being directed by Sydney Pollack) was enough to make Nicole Kidman sign up for this enjoyable, if not a little formulaic, political thriller. Hollywood's golden girl teams up with man of the moment Sean Penn in this well-paced and intense tale which unfolds against a backdrop of international terror and unashamedly draws parallels with the current political situation in Zimbabwe. Kidman adopts a satisfactory South African accent for the role of Silvia Broome, a UN interpreter who overhears a plot to assassinate a controversial African leader during his visit to the United States. Penn is Tobin Keller, a Secret Service agent assigned to investigate Silvia's claims and protect her from the assassins. But is Silvia telling the truth? Silvia's life is turned upside down as she becomes a target for the killers but a suspicious Kellar digs deeper into her past in a bid to find out what she is hiding. Pollack (who has a small part in the movie) scored a massive coup when he convinced Kofi Annan to allow filming inside the UN building for the first time. Even Alfred Hitchcock had to improvise when making the classic Cary Grant North By North West. The movie has some very strong opening scenes, shot on location in South Africa, and instantly grabs our attention. When the action moves to New York, Pollack (who brought us Tootsie, Out Of Africa and The Firm) creates an old-whorled vibe with grainy shots more reminiscent of the 70s, deliberately avoiding the neon lights of the Big Apple to create a dulled-down mood that sits much better with the film's content. Kidman and Penn handle their material well, putting in solid performances and the pair square up nicely on screen. Predictably, and annoyingly so, however, a chemistry develops between the two making for some scenes which would have been better left on the cutting room floor. Let's face it, the old adage of two strangers being brought together by circumstance and suddenly being able to open up and shed their baggage has all been done before. The moral of the story is also a little bit too Hollywood. We can admire its good intentions and even buy into the idea that we can change the world with words and diplomacy but it all becomes a bit nonsensical. But it is the movies after all and it's difficult to find fault with Pollack who has opted for a dialect-driven film as opposed to high-octane action scenes - although they do make a welcome appearance as the film reaches its climax. This is the thinking person's thriller and it's definitely worth a viewing.


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