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The Interpreter Review

Published April 26, 2005 in Movie Review
By Vince Palomarez | Image property of Universal Pictures
The Interpreter Nicole Kidman is The Interpreter
My father, the smart man that he is, once told me that no matter how much you try to fix up a piece of crap in the end it's still going to be a piece of crap. I thought he was insane…..until I saw The Interpreter. Not that this film is a piece of crap mind you, but with all the A list talent this film has it couldn't save itself from a bad script and a below average performance by Sean Penn. Sydney Pollack's (Tootsie, Out of Africa, The Firm) first film in more than 6 years falls flat of the expectations mounted on a movie with Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn as your leads.

The Interpreter-Movie Review

This psychological drama centers on Silvia Broome (Kidman), an interpreter for the United Nations. One night while Sylvia is recovering some items she left in her booth she overhears a murder plot to assassinate a ruler from the same place in Africa she was raised. Tobin Keller (Penn), a secret service agent with major trust issues, is brought in to the investigation and guesses there is more to Silvia's story then she puts on.

What sounds like an interesting idea never seems to deliver due to a very sluggish pace. The Interpreter never seemed to get off the ground until late in the second half and when it did my attention span was gone. The assassination storyline tries to be smart but just drags on throughout the movie and when the predictable big twit is revealed you'll be scratching your head thinking, "that's it?"

The Interpreter The Interpreter leaves one asking 'that's it?'
The acting in The Interpret is no better. While Nicole Kidman puts in another great performance Sean Penn looks as if he is sleepwalking through this film. Maybe he was doing this for the money, maybe he was doing a favor for his friend Sydney Pollack, but from the start of this film he looks as if his heart is not in it. Playing the generic role of "good cop with a tortured soul" role will do it to you, but his "Oscar moment" just seemed very robotic and unemotional. While there are some great supporting performances by Catherine Keener as his partner and even a guest spot from Pollack himself they just can't make up for a bad lead performance.

Final Judgment: With all this star power and an interesting idea I was expecting a lot more. On the surface, The Interpreter had all the makings of being a very interesting film. Don't let the star power fool you; take away all the big names and in the end you'll see it for the clunker it truly is.

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Vince Palomarez
Sources: Image property of Universal Pictures

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