Downbeat political journalist, Pierre Peders (Steve Buscemi) is frustrated when he is assigned to interview famous TV star Katya (Sienna Miller), of whom he knows nothing. The interview begins badly when Katya arrives an hour late at the appointed restaurant and is offended by Peders' total ignorance of her. When they leave the restaurant, a minor accident in the taxi brings them together again - and things just go downhill from there, as they bicker and snarl at each other while revealing secrets that they never intended to.
Review by Louise Keller:
'There's always a winner and a loser,' says Sienna Miller's tv soap star Katya, who drinks raspberry martinis, is more famous for who she sleeps with than anything else, and whose mobile phone ringtone is a yapping dog. The real and the fantasy become intertwined in Interview, an intriguing two-hander in which Steve Buscemi takes on the dual role of director and actor, to Miller's bravura acting display. The film is a remake of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh's 2003 drama; Buscemi took on the directing role when Van Gogh was murdered by a Muslim extremist in 2004. The wonderful thing about Interview is that we have no idea where it is going to lead. It's honest, conflicted and surprising, as journalist and actress battle words and emotions in a potent drama that takes us to unexpected places.
'It's odd for a journalist to be so uncurious,' are the words Katya flings at Pierre, in the restaurant where they meet, when he makes it quite clear he is totally disinterested in her and her career. She is an hour late, intent on taking phone calls and changing tables; he knows her by reputation only, has not bothered to watch her screener or read the brief. This is the beginning of an explosive evening in which questions are asked, and unfathomable territories are explored. He resembles the dead father she never knew; she reminds him of his daughter who overdosed on heroin.
There's a push-me pull-me relationship between Katya and Pierre and both Buscemi and Miller's performances are exemplary. The dialogue is both playful and violent; tongue in cheek while deadly serious. In fact there's a double edged sword throughout the 84 minute running time of Interview, which delivers cutting rewards and a gritty portrayal of the best and worst in both the acting and the journalist world.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A wonderfully observed, spicy, darkly funny yet tragic screenplay drives this virtual two hander, remade from a 2003 film by murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. The performances by Steve Buscemi and Sienna Miller are sensational, and the combination gives us an edgy, twisting drama between two opposites who find out how little really separates their scheming natures as they try to defend themselves against psychological attack.
The humour is bleak from the start, but gets darker and the tone shifts as real issues overtake the game playing. What makes the film exciting to watch is the balancing act as the two characters slip and slide through truth and lies - and we never can quite tell which is which. Topical references to fame on the one hand and journalism on the other, all underscored with the pathetic vanity that is such a common disease in the media of all kinds, lends a layer of satire that is punctured only at the end - to great effect.
The film unfolds in real time, with seamless edits and a sense of urgency, showing Steve Buscemi as an accomplished director. He is also brilliant as Pierre, the once respected journalist who is now sliding down the professional slope, reduced to making up sources. Miller is stunning as the pop actress who has everything but nothing, and her emotional, psychological journey is shattering - and intriguing. Both performances give us an insight into characters who have cocooned themselves from the painful reality around them, albeit in different ways. Their unspoken, half formed realisation that they love and hate each other out of mutual need is the film's great emotional payload.
The ending has an ambiguity that teases us - and adds to the complexity of the film, which is at once hugely entertaining and sobering all at once. A real little gem.
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CAST: Steve Buscemi, Sienna Miller, Michael Buscemi, Tara Elders, David Schechter,
PRODUCER: Gijs van de Westelaken, Bruce Weiss
DIRECTOR: Steve Buscemi
SCRIPT: Steve Buscemi, David Schechter (original screenplay by Theodor Holman)
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Thomas Kist
EDITOR: Kate Williams
MUSIC: Evan Lurie
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Loren Weeks
RUNNING TIME: 84 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: All Interactive
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: November 22, 2007
RIVERSIDE SCREEN PREMIERES
A program of premiere screenings of new movies prior to their commercial release
on 6 consecutive Tuesdays, starts February 17, 2015 at Riverside Theatre,
Curated & presented by Andrew L. Urban, discussion to
follow with special guests. Briefing notes provided.