16 08 2007

In Interview, Steve Buscemi—who directed the film1—is Pierre Peders, a jerky, serious journalist who’s annoyed by his assignment to interview Katya, a vapid celebrity-actress played by Sienna Miller. For almost the entire length of the film, the two wrestle. Both seem to be everything you’d expect them to be. Peders is so uninterested in Katya that he doesn’t prepare for the interview and is openly dismissive of her. Katya insists on getting her favorite table at a restaurant and does lines of coke for dessert.

But, of course, things aren’t necessarily what they seem. Unfortunately, you probably won’t actually be too surprised at what’s lying “just” beneath the obvious surfaces of Peders and Katya. Journalists and celebrities must use one another. Yawn. They may use whatever resources are handy—words, flirtation, subterfuge—to get what they want. Double yawn. Neither can be trusted. Sigh.

What I didn’t expect was just how openly cutthroat the conflict between Peders and Katya would become. The climax of this conflict wasn’t entirely believable, but it was watchable. What I also didn’t expect—and this was far and away the best thing about Interview—was how compelling Miller would be. As every fan of indie film knows, Buscemi is a force of nature. We knew that. We didn’t know that Miller was the kind of actress who could hold her own against a force of nature. Point taken.

Would I recommend Interview? Maybe, but mostly just for the acting. I doubt you’d want to see it a second time.

Interview gets two or two-and-a-half stars.

1Dutch director Theo van Gogh was to direct the film, and he cast the leads. He was assassinated before the film went into production.




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