by Eric D. Snider
Released: July 13, 2007
Two jerks fight and make up constantly in "Interview," the cycle repeating itself over and over for 85 minutes before the movie finally decides we've had enough and lets the characters go their separate ways.
I don't know why you'd want to watch to watch this. Jerks can be funny, of course, and many great movie characters are jerks. The ones in "Interview" are just petulant and abusive, though. I don't like them, and I don't like the way their relationship goes from love to hate and back again without any rhyme or reason.
The film is basically a two-person show, starring Steve Buscemi and Sienna Miller as a reporter and an actress in a conversation that unfolds more or less in real time. Buscemi, who also directed the film and co-wrote it (adapting it from a Dutch movie), plays Pierre, a political journalist who's been bumped down to the entertainment beat and is bitter about it. Miller plays Katya, a TV soap opera vixen now starring in a slasher movie.
Pierre is disdainful of Katya's work, though he's never actually watched any of it. (The glimpses we see suggest he may have a point.) Katya shows up to the restaurant for the interview an hour late and makes no apologies for it.
See? Jerks, both of them.
They wind up at Katya's nearby apartment, where for an hour they talk informally, then on-the-record, then off-the-record again. They become friendly with each other, then hateful again; they confide secrets; they yell at each other.
What's aggravating is that these switches occur randomly. Katya, in particular, will make a 180-degree turn in her attitude toward Pierre at the drop of a hat. This does not reflect the way real people behave -- a major deficit in a movie that is shot and edited as hyper-realistically as this one is.
Apart from that, the performances are good enough, I suppose. Miller surprised me several times with more honesty and naturalism than I would have expected from her, while Buscemi has always been a reliable actor and is every bit the professional here, too. It's just that what they're doing is so uninteresting, and their characters so unlikable, that it becomes an exercise in futility.
Rated R, plenty of harsh profanity, some sexual dialogue
1 hr., 23 min.
Copyright © Eric D. Snider.
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