Interview

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Interview Movie Poster Image
Media foes face off in intense indie adult drama.
  • R
  • 2007
  • 83 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Both Katya and Pierre are ruthless and cold: They spar verbally and physically and tease each other sexually, even as they refer to each other as father and daughter (which gives those scenes a creepy, incestuous vibe). They drink too much and lie through their teeth. Some bright spots: Katya seems like a genuine friend (she comforts a pal by phone), and Pierre seems like a concerned brother when he visits his sibling in a mental institution.

Violence

Pierre gets into a car accident and hurts his head; lots of screaming between the main characters; Katya hits Pierre, and he shoves her. She also throws things at him.

Sex

No outright nudity, but lots of references to sex (for example, Pierre recounts in detail how a transvestite performed a sexual act on him). Two women kiss briefly. Pierre and Katya kiss each other (aggressively) and, once, he positions himself between her legs. She struts in front of him, obviously trying to seduce him (but later, she tells him he looks like her father -- and he tells her she reminds him of his daughter).

Language

Plenty of expletives, including "f--k" (and related versions, as in "f--kface"), "s--t," and the like. Women are referred to as "whores," plus there's one use of the word "c--t."

Consumerism

Some: references to Maker's Mark and Palm Pilot; a laptop computer is clearly an Apple; glimpses of brand names on water bottles and cigarettes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

From beginning to end, the film is laced with substances. Both characters drink to near-oblivion (scotch, whiskey, rum -- you name it). Katya also smokes and snorts cocaine.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this intense indie drama is filled with very adult themes, including war crimes, drug abuse, and suicide. Sienna Miller plays a lightweight actress who stars in a vapid TV show and gore-filled slasher flicks, but her character's personality is brutal and manipulative. So is that of the other main character, Pierre -- who, as a journalist, is ostensibly supposed to tell the truth (though by his own admission, he doesn't). No nudity, but there's plenty of sexualized banter, some of which is laced with incestuous overtones. Also expect liberal use of cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol, and frequent swearing ("f--k," "s--t," and the like).

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What's the story?

Once-successful war correspondent Pierre Peders' (Steve Buscemi) career is on the wane. Angry that he's been demoted to celebrity-profiler status, he botches an interview with actress Katya (Sienna Miller), who comes off as everything he hates about actresses. After the "interview," Pierre's cab driver spies Katya walking home and crashes. Feeling semi-responsible for his injury, Katya invites Pierre to her luxurious loft. What unfolds is a twisted pas de deux fueled by drink and drugs. The two trade barbs, eager to control the conversation. Katya is the ultimate actress, her mood lurching from high to low. She seduces and provokes, prodding Pierre to reach a thespian's ultimate goal: Make him notice. And that he does. Professing no interest in the assignment, Pierre eventually comes to want what all journalists do: the big get. And he will stoop as low and break as many ethical rules as he needs to get it. (Which is not to say he does.)

Is it any good?

The stars' acting trumps the movie's few flaws. The premise pulls you in, but it's kind of hard to believe that a press-hounded actress would invite a reporter into her apartment. It's equally unbelievable that a reporter who once covered war-torn Sarajevo wouldn't recognize a major battle when he sees it, never mind how pretty and perfumed the enemy is.

Sienna Miller is supremely confident, emotionally available, and eminently watchable. As Katya, she's an able foil -- and foe -- for Pierre. With only two main characters who are pretty much stuck in one spot, Interview can sometimes feel static, though it certainly avoids becoming claustrophobic. The father-daughter sub-plot feels contrived, and the ending is strangely depleted of energy. Still, it's riveting. Perhaps magazine profiles would be that much more interesting to read if interviews did turn out to be the big free-for-all as this one does.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the film's depiction of celebrities and how they live. Does it seem realistic? What about the media's attitude toward them? Why do tabloids "have" to chronicle stars' every waking moment -- and why do the celebs put up with it? What do they get in return? And what fuels our fascination with them in the first place? It's worth noting that Miller has been a fixture in the gossip columns. Did you have any preconceived notions about how she'd be in this movie based on what you've read about her? Also, keeping magazine articles you've read in mind, do you think celebrity interviews ever spiral into the drama-filled mess that this movie portrays?

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