Monday, July 23, 2007
Before putting down $10 to see the film, I'd read a string of reviews saying that Steve Buscemi's new directorial effort Interview was conclusive proof that Sienna Miller was a good actress. I was misinformed and my money was misspent.
Since Sienna first popped onto the pop culture radar a few years back, most famously as Jude Law's main squeeze, I questioned the wisdom of anointing her a starlet. Without seeing any of her films, I sensed she possessed a certain kind of Teflon pretty (your eyes slip right off of it and no feature sticks in your head) and zero-sum persona.
When I saw the trailer for Interview, my interest was piqued. It had all the markings of one of my favorite film genres—the conversation movie. Being set almost exclusively in a New York loft, it also brought to mind one of my favorite talky movies What Happened Was. Both films pair a man and woman in the awkward early stages of getting to know each other, but only one film can boast a well-written script—the latter.
Yep. If you're going to make a conversation movie, you'd better make sure the dialogue is diverting and believable. Interview offered neither quality in its script. I'm a big fan of Buscemi, but he does nothing new here in his role as a bitter journalist on his way down the fourth estate's totem pole who is forced to do a fluff piece on Sienna's character—a TV/slasher movie star named Katya.
While there were clips in the film of Katya's TV performances that were truly bad, Sienna's acting was uneven throughout and it was tough to get a bearing on her character because of it. The pace and plot of the film was just as scatter shot, leading to an unsatisfying cinematic experience.
Too bad, really. The premise was an interesting one—a cat and mouse game between celebrity and mouthpiece with some hints of sexual tension to boot—but there is no kick, no wit, no high stakes in this feline meets rodent tale. All it left me thinking was, "I wish had a bottle of red wine and a Manhattan loft like that to drink it in."