Based on Theo Van Gogh’s 2003 tête-à-tête of the same name, Steve Buscemi’s remake is the kind of concentrated dose of coruscating conversation associated more with theater than cinema; even indie films rarely stoop to producing such insular, loquacious smackdowns anymore. The gist remains the same as the original: Serious reporter (Buscemi) meets shallow starlet (Miller). He’s bitter that he’s been reduced to profiling TV bimbos, while she’s offended that he hasn’t done a lick of research. Both end up—through the flimsiest of circumstances—in her downtown loft, where they spend an entire night verbally flaying each other. There’s a kiss but no sex; anyone who guessed that lies and videotape play a substantial role, however, can pat themselves on the back.
If you’re going to spend your running time concentrating on two people slinging violent verbiage, you’d better be certain your actors can handle the burden. Given that he’s directing himself, Buscemi must have had total confidence in his male lead’s abilities, though his perfectly able performance is neither a phone-in nor a boundary-pusher. The surprising ace in the hole, however, is Miller. Chalk it up to low expectations, given her dismal track record, but it’s ironic that playing a star more renowned for fucking other famous people [Cough, cough] is allowing her to actually show range and genuine talent. Interview doesn’t say anything new regarding our obsession with celebrity or, to paraphrase Janet Malcolm, the moral indefensibility of journalism. But the way these two players psychologically thrust and parry more than carries the film.
Cast and crew