O.K. little bro . . . as you wish!
The movie Interview stars Steve Buscemi (Lonesome Jim, Fargo, Reservoir Dogs) opposite Sienna Miller (Factory Girl, Casanova, Alfie). Buscemi plays Pierre Peders—a journalist with fading credibility. He also directs this film. Miller holds her own as a self-absorbed, no-talent celebrity named Kayta. Replicating Theo Van Gogh’s original (same title, released in 2003) simplicity may have been unavoidable, considering Buscemi used the same Dutch production crew.
Ordinarily covering hot politics, Pierre squabbles about the “fluff” assignment of interviewing an actress known more for her fluctuating breast size than for her talent. Her tardiness to the restaurant only feeds Pierre’s disgust. Pierre’s poignant disinterest and lack of respect irritates Kayta and the interview ends promptly. We think we are fortunate to have escaped such a volatile mixture, but a minor fender bender reunites them. Feeling some responsibility for the mishap, Kayta cons Pierre to her flat—where we’ll stay for the remainder.
The characters and their chemistry propel the film. The script is good, but the performances are magnificent. As their level of intoxication increases, the volley of questions intensifies. No answer escapes judgment. With Pierre’s assignment lost, their involvement dissolves into a battle of wits, where knowing what to say is as important as knowing what not to say. Dizzying transitions between compassion and contempt leave us firmly planted on the couch.
Kayta practices her acting by exaggerating the boundaries of charm—perhaps an attempt to prove that she is not just a B rate actress. Pierre can’t decide if he wants to be her lover, guidance counselor, or father-figure. Despite their vulnerability and meandering passion, they manage to explore a level of intimacy that many couples never know.
Interview's brilliance reminds us that films can still—just—be about people and their complexities.