Self-destructive journalist Pierre Peders (Buscemi) is no stranger to violence and inhumanity. Having made his name as a war reporter, he has traveled the world seeing some of the most horrifying sights imaginable. So he f... more »eels that his current puff-piece assignment, an interview with pop diva, TV and movie star Katya (Miller), is beneath his dignity. The two meet in a restaurant and, instantly, it's a collision of two worlds: Pierre's serious political focus and Katya's superficial world of celebrity. But perhaps all is not as it appears. When Pierre is slightly injured in a traffic accident inadvertently caused by Katya, she's the proverbial girl who causes traffic accidents, they end up in Katya's spacious loft for a long night of talking, drinking, sparring, and coming close to a sort of embattled intimacy. Each is scarred in their own way, aching from deep, hidden pain. But honest revelations give way to punishing deceptions. Their confrontation evolves into a passionate verbal chess game spiked with wit, intrigue and sexual tension, capped with a riveting twist ending.« less
Sienna Miller's dialogue and her smoking performance keeps this film from being boring as watching paint dry. This movie is about a journalist interviewing a movie star.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Meredith H. (merbreezer) from WASHINGTON, DC Reviewed on 2/2/2010...
Steve Buscemi's character in this film is completely unlikeable. You start to wonder what Sienna Millers character sees in him or why she spends so much time with him alone in her apartment. Steve Buscemi just came off as creepy.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Barbara F. from MARLBOROUGH, MA Reviewed on 8/20/2009...
If you like movies with a bit of a twist and less predictable than others, this has merit.
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
James B. (wandersoul73) from LINDALE, TX Reviewed on 6/22/2009...
Wow, another huge letdown.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
'And in this corner of the ring...'
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 12/26/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"INTERVIEW is a smart little independent film adapted from the 2003 Theo van Gogh film by the same name, a film that drew a lot of attention based on a script by Theodor Holman, which in turn was based on an idea by Hans Teeuwen sparring the famous Dutch actress Katja Schuurman with actor Pierre Bokma. In this adaptation Steve Buscemi reworked the Holman screenplay with the help of David Schechter, changing the female role to a tabloid type bombshell actress (also named Katya, played with razor sharp clarity by Sienna Miller) with a disgruntle political reporter Pierre (Steve Buscemi) whose career is on the skids requiring that he take lousy assignments such as this interview to stay alive.
Other than a disastrous opening in a classy restaurant where the two characters realize they are ridiculously mismatched as an interview pair, the entire film takes place in Katya's loft. Katya appears shallow and short of goals and Pierre only acquiesces to complete the interview when he suffers a head injury and is invited for ice and drink to Katya's place. What ensues is a battle of wits in which each of the two characters discovers more about each other than either cares to disclose, and after a 'mating dance' of sorts the two return to their separate corners of the boxing ring - each having a final twist on the other's private life. It is a play within a play and the words make all the difference.
Sienna Miller is becoming one of the more important actresses on the screen and in this role she proves her mettle in a superbly nuanced role. Steve Buscemi may not have been the optimal choice to play Pierre, but he is sharp to watch and is never short of intelligence, both as an actor and as a writer/director. Not an action movie and not a film for those who need strong narrative, but for viewers who enjoy the barbs and wit of a sparring match, this is a well-made example of the genre. Grady Harp, December 07 "
"Two characters, 85 minutes, one room - but NOT boring!"
Steven I. Ramm | Phila, PA USA | 12/02/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is the first of three films, which are American remakes of feature films directed in the Netherlands by the late Theo van Gogh. Actor/Director Buscemi was specifically chosen by the original producer to direct the film. He chose the lead role for himself. I have not seen the "original" and am basing my comments just on viewing the DVD of this US version.
The film is 85 minutes long and, except for 2-3 minutes at the beginning, and even less at the end, there are only two actors on the screen talking and interacting with each other. And nearly all the action takes place in one New York City apartment - though it is a big loft apartment! And yet this is not a quiet conversational film like "My Dinner With Andre". There is definitely a sexual thing going on here but you'll note that the R rating is for "language and strong sexual situations", not nudity. There is no nakedness at all. Yet, like some of the prime scenes in "Body Heat", there is definitely sexual tension in the air. And, not unlike "Body Heat" this is an emotional duel between a man and a woman where what is said is not always the truth.
I was not familiar with lead actress Sienna Miller before this film. (I loved Buscemi in "Ghost World"). Until I watched the two featurettes (the requisite "Making of...." and a brief interview with Director/Star Buscemi), I was not aware that Miller is British. She has an LA accent down pat. And it's perfect.
Note that the locale can be a bit confusing. Miller's character is a TV actress and is hounded by Paparazzi so the film should be set in LA. But the loft set and the mention of being in Washington in a few hours, gives the viewer the impression that it's in lower Manhattan. But you'll find yourself listening to the words and watching the chemistry between the two characters that you won't even think about it until the film is over.
This is not a great film that will win big awards. It's an "independent" And for the 90 minutes or so that you are watching this DVD you won't find your mind wandering or getting bored. Give it a chance. I did, and I'm glad I did.
Steve Ramm "Anything Phonographic" "
A fresh and unusual idea, and a tour-de-force for Sienna Mil
John Grabowski | USA | 12/12/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Who's using whom? I ask myself that question every time I see a celebrity fleeing the paparazzi on television, or hear about how stars hate pushy reporters prying into their lives. Because the relationship is very symbiotic: the entertainment media makes the star; the star is fodder for the entertainment media. Each needs the other, but it's a love-hate relationship that's more about hate than love most of the time. And both sides lie incessantly. It's a relationship built on mistrust.
That's a lot of what Steve Buscemi's Interview is about. Buscemi himself plays the interviewer, and Sienna Miller, in a performance that deserves an Oscar nod but will surely not get one, is the spoiled-brat starlet with the world at her feet. (And oh, man, can Miller do a whiny, snotty American accent to perfection.) The "interview" goes on all night in her loft (a loft that strikes me as shabby for this famous actress, and probably has more to do with budget restraints than reality), and gets wilder and deeper than any real celebrity interviews do. Or does it? Has Buscemi tricked her into delving deeper into her soul than she ever has before, or is she playing him like a piano?
That's one aspect of the film.
The other is a seemingly insatiable desire, at least with some people, to bond with and have intimacy with people in the spotlight. We think because we watch someone on the screen we have some sort of right to be close with them in private, if we get the chance. Buscemi's character, although initially professing never to have seen or even heard of Miller's films, in fact does know at least a few of them, as he later lets slip, and he does seem interested in her career, even though he'd not admit such a thing so's to spoil his "sophisticated" image. Despite a studied disdain for her, he's apparently as thrilled and intrigued as any fan would be to spend an evening with this supercelebrity. He tries--he tries all sorts of things: to get into her pants; to become her confidant; to become fatherly; to manipulate her; to stroke her; to mock her; to show utter disdain for her. Sometimes the shifts are a little clunky and strictly speaking, it's all unbelievable in the real world, but no matter. Does anyone worry about strict believability when watching Jaws?
Interview works well on these levels. Some have criticized the film for being contrived--it is; how could it not be? But this allows the story to touch these private areas. No celebrity would allow something like this to go on for so long. What's her motivation for, if not bringing him back to her place (he injures himself in a taxi accident and she gives him cold compresses for his head) then for letting him stay there so long and antagonize her? In real life, if she ever did bring him home, she'd say after fifteen minutes, "Okay, you look better. Here's your coat."
But in movies, advertising executives like Cary Grant climb Mount Rushmore (in loafers no less). You have to give it a certain amount of disbelief. What is uncovered in her loft that night--and no, it's never their clothes; we do not get cliches like the two of them slipping under the sheets--seems disarmingly personal. We do get a rollarcoaster of emotions, revelations, twists and turns--some comic, some tragic and some melodramatic, as the trajectory of a whole relationship is crammed into an evening. Towards the end I was cringing because I thought they were going to dissolve into cliches as they got closer to each other; people like this don't act that way. But then there's a lovely and delicious twist that serves as the payoff, and we realize nothing's really changed for these two. I do have to agree, however, with Amazon's critic, who says the characters are mismatched, which leads to a certain amount of predictability on one side. Or as Roger Ebert wrote with insight, most "dumb blonde" starlets really aren't as dumb as they come across, or else they wouldn't have made it so far. They may not be book-smart, but they are street-smart beyond your wildest dreams. Underestimate them at your own peril!
Interview has flaws, serious flaws. There are some over-the-top scenes that don't play very well: at one point he actually attacks her in her own apartment; later she attacks him back. She lets him see her doing blow--oh come on. Their problems get a little repetitious and puffed up--parts of it are almost like "Thirtysomething" on speed. But the conceit is such an intriguing idea--an intimate night in the private world of a supercelebrity--that we go along even though we know it's simply beyond belief. Again, isn't Jaws?
Interview was originally a Dutch movie made by filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was shot to death several years ago by a Muslim fanatic. I have not seen the Dutch version but would now like to. This American re-do, produced using many of the same people as the original, supposedly waters it down a little (or, as one review put it, "makes accommodations for American tastes") yet is still edgy in that way that only a small-budget indie film can be in the U.S. nowadays--more's the pity. The budget here must have been pocket change but it doesn't matter. Interview is two people in a room, essentially--an edgier, more irreverent, sex-charged version of My Dinner With Andre--and the time flies by. In some ways Interview is what I love most about films: put two interesting characters in a room, give them improv space (many bits were made up on the spot) and let the sparks fly. No storyboards, no special effects, no laser fights or swords and sorcery. Why can't more films be like this?
(DVD looks good but is fairly bare-bones. It includes two brief featurettes that are mildly interesting, but could have been joined together to make one longer documentary. There's also a commentary with Buscemi I've not yet had a chance to listen to.)
(Addendum two months later: finally listened to the commentary. It's okay but mostly dispensable. Where Buscemi talks about rehearsals and getting inside the characters' heads and what he changed from the Dutch original, it's interesting, but too much time is spent patting the backs of everybody who worked on this film or who has worked on a Buscemi project before. Possibly this is necessary because these people worked hard for what was essentially scale, and they did it not for the bucks or the glory but for the love; still, after he mentioned his buddy the sound effects editor who worked on eight of his other films for the fourth time I got bored.) "
Douglas King | Cincinnati, OH United States | 01/22/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When it comes to Steve Buscemi and Sienna Miller in "Interview", I don't think I've seen a middle aged man and a young woman that had this much chemistry since Bill Murray and Scarlett Johanson in "Lost in Translation". However, if Murray and Johanson's on-screen relationship was warm and nurturing, the relationship between Buscemi's Pierre and Miller's Katya is more like a cage match.
Pierre, a self-important political journalist, is assigned to do an interview with a subject he believes to be beneath him ... Katya, a schlock TV/film actress and tabloid fixture. The two characters clash instantly, but end up continuing the "interview" all night in Katya's opulent New York loft, where the two characters ridicule, antagonize, manipulate, charm, seduce and abuse one another, both for their own career agendas and to satisfy their equally inflated egos. Steve Buscemi (clearly a talented director as well as being a great character actor) and Sienna Miller both give terrific performances playing these two complex, layered and often repugnant characters. I found the whole thing fascinating.
Toward the end of the film Pierre tells Katya "What do we both have in common? Neither of us believes in relationships. There's no equality ... there's always a winner and a loser." Watch the film to see which is which."
Rocky Raccoon | Boise, ID | 12/17/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Somewhere along the line there had to be a satire about movie stars and reporters. Billy Wilder made it a classic in `Sunset Boulevard' Sunset Boulevard (Special Collector's Edition). While Steve Buscemi's 'Interview' isn't in the same category, his feature brings wit and irony front and center in an admirable fashion.
Political reporter Pierre Peters (Buscemi) and soap opera star, Katya (Sienna Miller) in 'Sex in the City-esque 'City Girls,' spar with one another in what commences as an admirable update of `Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. During the opening scene they're at a restaurant, each interrupted at key times with cell phone calls. (To sample the lack of subtlety, her cell phone goes off with the sounds of a feisty terrier.) We find out later that he's intensely irritable for being reassigned from the political beat to interviewing acting celebrities. Early on we also discover that both are forces to be reckoned with as they try to outwit one another.
Recovering from a restaurant debacle, most of the movie occurs at her place. From tempest to tranquility, the film ebbs and flows in manic/depressive cycles. Each time they start to calm down, they discover they have more in common than would have originally imagined. Chemical dependency comes to the surface as she snorts cocaine, and he continues on a typical drinking binge. Their intoxication has a sobering undertow as each tries to expose the other's vulnerability. Both are formidable players in the tirades that come to roost in her apartment.
In two keys scenes, each tries to unravel the other. She takes her video camera and starts to interview him. Similarly, he gets on her computer and does some investigating of his own. The dirt each finds about the other is enough to undo the other unless someone is clever enough to win their intense sparring match.
Cleverly scripted and devastatingly witty, 'Interview' turns the tables on assessments one makes on movies like 'Conversations with Other Women,' Conversations with Other Women which seems spurious in comparison to this intense, although sometimes irritating, contest of wills."