A review of “Interview” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: *** 1/2

Rating: R for language, sexual references and drug use

Run Time: 1 hour, 23 minutes

 

 

Actor Steve Buscemi (“Fargo” et al) steps behind the camera for an emotionally charged drama pitting master manipulators in a captivating roundelay.

Pierre Peders (Buscemi) is a hard-bitten war correspondent assigned to an unlikely puff-piece on It Girl actress Katya (Sienna Miller) who is touting her latest B-movie.

The interview is off from the get-go. Pierre hates stooping to superficiality and Katya resents his lack of preparation and palpable disdain. The meeting is cut short and the two go their separate ways until an unforeseen incident pulls them back together at Katya’s swanktastic loft.

Pierre and Katya mark their territories with suspicion and doubt; he a veteran of real-life horrors and she a pampered, petulant star with an endless parade of sycophants at her beck and call.

Mutt and Jeff; oil and water. But both ache from deep hurts, possessing the uncanny ability to spin a web of lies that lays a foundation of deceit both dark and profoundly illuminating. The niggling sensation of psychological illusion lessens the load but strengthens the entertainment value.

The collision of two worlds is scored by witty banter, revealing confessions and simmering sexual attraction. Tension, humor and pathos are wrung out from smart scripting and surprisingly effective performances. Miller shines as a pop diva with more under her bleached tresses than dark roots. Buscemi is the consummate pro.

Before his untimely death in 2004, Dutch director Theo van Gogh visualized remaking three of his Dutch-language films into English, each in a New York City setting. Buscemi stepped to the plate and knocked this one out of the park.