Monday, October 15, 2007


Steve Buscemi is one of the best actors around. Think about it, I mean the guy is weird lookin’ (I dunno, just weird lookin’). He has an odd sounding voice and is instantly recognizable, and still he has yet to be typecast as the weird looking, odd sounding, very familiar, guy. With each role, he brings his quirky antics along with a strong dose of some serious acting. He uses his aesthetic flaws to build each of his characters and make them, usually, unforgettable. Who can’t remember his comically brilliant arguing in Reservoir Dogs? His casual psycho in Con Air? His constant degrading in The Big Lebowski? His creepily eerie turn in The Sopranos? And so on.

On occasion, Buscemi directs as well. His latest feat, Interview, is an enchanting wonder of a film, laced with his oddball sense of humor. Buscemi is Pierre, a political journalist who has been assigned, for reasons he cannot figure out, to do a personality profile on the “it” actress, Katya. Pierre is pissed. He would rather been in D.C. covering the latest shitstorm that has erupted there. But no, instead he is stuck in a trendy part of New York, waiting for the one-named, no talent “actress” to waltz into the restaurant where they are meeting.

She shows up (finally) and it’s all down hill from there. Katya is offended that Pierre knows nothing about her. He’s never seen one of her films and he doesn’t pick up the tabloids much. The dinner interview only lasts a couple minutes, after a few harsh words are thrown back and fourth.

Instead of wasting time on plot, I’ll just say that Pierre ends up at Katya’s nearby loft where the remainder of the film is spent. From then on, Buscemi does an incredible job of stripping away layer after protective layer that each of the characters has developed over the years. He keeps revealing more and more with each addictive scene.

Pierre asks Katya inane questions, she playfully dismisses them. They drink (a lot), she smokes (a lot), some coke is dabbled with, words fly, tempers swell, they dance, they laugh, they cry and it’s all delightful.

Think Sienna Miller can’t act? Joke’s on you. What Buscemi has done is cast an actress who is represented, in reality, the same way Katya is. Miller, best known for being cheated on by Jude Law, is a good actress. Such has been the case in films like Layer Cake and Factory Girl, but it is here that her breakout will be forever remembered. Miller embodies Katya to the fullest extent. After showing Pierre the different ways to cry for the camera, you’ll completely believe Miller when she later breaks down in a brutal confession. Her raw performance is one of the best by an actress this year.

Interview is a great film to listen to. The conversations are wonderfully scripted by Buscemi, who affirms his capability of writing and directing. I could never tell the most revealing revelations, which Buscemi saves for the end, but I will say that I was genuinely shocked and completely transfixed. A

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