Two of Hollywood's most dramatic players, Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn, put their serious faces together in this weekend's release of "The Interpreter." Not only were the two big names flaunting their goods, but the severely underrated Catherine Keener, from "Death to Smoochy" and "Being John Malkovich," graced the screen as well.
If you like drawn-out dramas that take a while to get moving and need more "oomph" when they finally, do this movie is definitely for you.
Director Sydney Pollack takes no time at all in getting the plot out in the open, however, when Sylvia Broome (Kidman), an interpreter for the United Nations, overhears an apparent assassination plot planned for an African head of state. Afraid she was spotted by the conversationalists (the unknown people threatening the African politicians) Broome goes to the guys who get things done, with FBI agent Tobin Keller (Penn) assigned to protect her and get to the bottom of things. Agent Keller won't be taken for a fool though, as he is overly suspicious and skeptical of Broome's story. As time progresses and friendships strengthen, both Sylvia and Tobin's pasts come into play in very serious ways.
One thing that must be noted is writer Steven Zaillian's contribution to the script. With drama greats such as "Schindler's List," "Gangs of New York" and "Searching for Bobby Fischer" under his belt, it's no wonder he was picked to help out here. The cinematography is really good, especially all the shots inside the general council of the U.N. This is actually the first movie that shot inside the United Nations Building, which is pretty cool. The acting really couldn't get much better, with Kidman, Keener and Penn delivering wonderful performances.
The thing that starts to get annoying is the unnecessarily long scenes and lack of interesting material. You begin to lose interest in the story because of these parts and start to wonder when something's actually going to happen. Then, when it does, it's just a bit of a letdown. "The Interpreter" serves up an original plot with exceptional actors and good direction, but it is definitely not what some are call a 'high-intensity, thought-provoking thriller.'
2 out of 4