Friday, September 25, 2015

The Interpreter (2005)

Director: Sydney Pollack

Writers: Martin Stellman, Brian Ward, Charles Randolp, Scott Frank, Steven Zaillian

Composer: James Newton Howard

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Jesper Christensen, Yvan Attal, Earl Cameron, George Harris, Michael Wright, Clyde Kusatsu, Sssssydney Pollack

More info: IMDb

Tagline: We're all being watched

Plot: Political intrigue and deception unfold inside the United Nations, where a U.S. Secret Service agent is assigned to investigate an interpreter who overhears an assassination plot.

My rating: 6

Will I watch it again? No.

Silvia Broome (Kidman)...that bitch is impossible to deal with.  She jerks around Tobin (Penn) and his security team by lying and keeping information from them for a very long time.  Little by little Tobin gets her to admit some sort of truth but she continues to play this stupid game which neuters the effectiveness of these people trying to do their job and save lives.  Because of her lots of innocent people die.  Near the 85 minute mark is when she FINALLY fesses up to Tobin (and us).  Now I can't stand her.  OK, so it turns out she's got a really good reason why she was doing it and I dug her reason.  Her face gets jacked up with shrapnel but the wounds disappear a few short days later when she's saying her goodbyes to Tobin.  I guess we can't have Nicole Kidman looking damaged before the credits roll.  I would have liked a grittier ending but I'm not surprised with how it turned out.  It'd be a decent thriller (if it weren't for the almost laughable plot holes (like why would assassins discuss anything inside the UN assembly hall and why she thought she could bring the bad guy to justice if she could prevent the assassination) but it makes me yearn for the top notch ones we got back in the 70s.  The performances are good but the story falls just a tad short in delivering the goods, mainly because it ends (once the big surprise is revealed) just like you'd think Hollywood would. 

The Universal DVD has an anamorphic widescreen print.  The extras are an alternate ending (still not the one I wanted), two minutes of deleted scenes, a ten minute sit down with Pollack on making movies (this was his last film, BTW), a five minute piece with Pollack on the reason why he started shooting a 1:33 picture starting with OUT OF AFRICA (1985) until this picture.  It's criminal that OUT was the first one he stopped shooting wide on but whatever.  There's also an 8 minute piece on shooting inside the UN building (the first film to do so), 8 minutes spending time with real interpreters for the UN and a commentary with Pollack.

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