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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
"Two characters, 85 minutes, one room - but NOT boring!"Dec 2 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
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"
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
'And in this corner of the ring...'Dec 26 2007
- Published on Amazon.com
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
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Cage MatchJan. 22 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Acting Can't Overcome Lack Of Quality ScriptMarch 15 2008
- Published on Amazon.com
This film should be rented or watched on television before you decide whether to purchase a copy of it.
Both Steve Buscemi and Sienna Miller (especially Miller) are among the finest contemporary actors - so it is almost always a pleasure to watch their work. However, this film consists primarily of over an hour of improbable and sophomoric dialogue between Pierre (Buscemi), a failed, morally-flawed (yet self-righteous) journalist and Katya (Miller), a self-absorbed, manipulative actress who, alternatively, pities and preys upon the unlucky Pierre. Through a series of interchanges between the characters, we learn (over and over) that they peddle fiction to their respective audiences and, at times, to themselves - but this is easy to pick up during the first ten minutes of the film. The rest of the film seems intent on exploring how many ways this basic message can be delivered and redelivered.
The majority of the interchanges between Pierre and Katya take place in Katya's bohemian apartment, so the film - especially with its minimalist camera work and limited space - often creates the feeling of an intimate stage play. This would be fine if the writing allowed the characters to expand beyond those limited confines and become interesting. However, both Miller and Buscemi (who also directed)are repeatedly forced to try to "emotionally charge" the alternatively petty and "heavy" dialogue that is aimed at showing, as Warhol would have put it, that each character is, in his or her own way, "deeply superficial": Imagine two actors forced to take a really good five-minute Tennessee Williams scene and stretch it out for over an hour. Mid-way through the film (or sooner), you will probably stop caring.
The silver lining in this otherwise forgettable film is the incredible range of Miller and Buscemi's mastery of quirky character. For me, this aspect of the film made it worth viewing - but only once.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Strong opening, excellent cast but gets sunk in the end by implausible developments and an entirely predictable twistMarch 31 2012
- Published on Amazon.com
"Interview" starts out very strong with some very sharp dialogue and witty exchanges. The set up reminds me some of a movie called "Conversations with Other Women" starring Helena Bonham Carter and Aaron Eckhardt in that it is mostly a two person and one scene play. But "Conversations" was better than "Interview" in that the dialogue and emotions remained consistently believable throughout the film, and this is VERY important, both of the characters were likeable and plausible and you wanted them to be with each other.
Conversation(s) With Other Women
There are moments where Buscemi (who is a great actor) and Miller (who did a fine job with what she had) came across as very believable and sympathetic. But somewhere around the mid-point of the flick, Miller's Katya sort of morphed into a pathetic, coke snorting nut and Buscemi came across as a complete phony (when he told Katya "I care about you...I really do," I found myself rolling my eyes and thinking "yeah right.")
There are three other defects to the movie that I will have to tag with the SPOILERS warning...see below
1. I don't think that this movie played straight with its viewers. Almost to the end, we were given the impression that Buscemi and Miller's characters actually had come to care about each other at least a bit. But then, the plot twist threw all that out the window and suddenly it became "battle of wits between the movie star and the washed-up journalist"). Frankly, I would have preferred a straightforward setup where either Buscemi and Miller did become friends or a setup where you knew they were adversaries from the start.
2. The twist where Buscemi discovers what he thinks is Miller's diary (but which turns out to be that of her character in a soap opera that she wrote out as an acting lesson) was so obvious I spotted it immediately and found myself thinking, "Dear God, don't let that be the twist ending."
3. Given the fact that Buscemi's character was planning all along to betray the trust that Miller had ostensibly placed in him, I totally didn't believe he would "share" (let alone on videotape) his darkest personal secrets. I think that it would have made a much better ending if after Miller told him she had the tape and was thinking about sending it to the police or his boss if Buscemi had said, "What makes you think I told you the truth about me...incidentally I took a few acting classes so I know how to say something that's complete BS and make it sound like the truth just like you did."
So I would give this film 3 stars for a strong first half and hope that Buscemi and Miller will partner in some future enterprise. Maybe she could do a turn on "Boardwalk Empire" some time in the future.