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The Interpreter (HD DVD, 2006)
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The Interpreter (HD DVD, 2006)

Sydney Pollack, Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn | Theatrical release: 2005 | Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
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The Interpreter (HD DVD, 2006)
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THE INTERPRETER starring Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn - Widescreen, Thriller, Drama
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THE INTERPRETER starring Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn - Widescreen, Thriller, Drama
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The Interpreter [HD DVD] Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Jesper Chr
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The Interpreter [HD DVD] Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Jesper Chr
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Movie synopsis
Director Sidney Pollack's diverse career sees him returning to familiar ground with THE INTERPRETER. Crafted from the same mould that saw Pollack produce the superlative political thriller THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR (1975), Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn star in a film riddled with subterfuge, recriminations, and deadly secrets. Kidman plays Silvia Broome, an interpreter who works at the UN in New York City. One night, while collecting a bag she has left behind in the building, Silvia overhears a whispered conversation in which an assassination attempt on a redoubtable African leader, named Zuwanie (Earl Cameron), is planned during his future visit to the UN. Secret service agent Tobin Keller (Penn) is assigned to provide security for Zuwanie on the forthcoming trip, and conducts an investigation when Silvia explains what she has heard. He quickly discovers that Silvia has a lengthy, troubled past as a citizen from the same country as Zuwanie, and immediately doubts her story. A series of frantic, fast-paced set pieces ensue, with Pollack beautifully capturing the architectural wonder of the UN, and staging some breathtaking scenes all over the city.Much has been made of THE INTERPRETER'S status as the first film to be shot inside the UN, and it's to Pollack's credit that he wasn't overawed by such a prospect. Making full use of the building, the director highlights the hustle and bustle of a typical day at the UN, while also shooting eerily silent late night scenes among the famous halls and corridors. As Pollack piles on the tension, Penn and Kidman deliver exemplary performances alongside a prodigious supporting cast, who do justice to an intelligently written plot designed to keep viewers guessing right up until the final moments of the film.

Product Details
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
  • Film Country: USA
  • UPC: 025193110527

Additional Details
Genre:Dramas
Format:HD DVD

Director:Sydney Pollack
Leading Role:Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn
eBay Product ID: EPID53875469

Editorial reviews

"Pollock has pulled off an old-fashioned-seatbelt-tightener."
Uncut - Adam Sweeting (05/01/2005)

"Among its many accomplishments, this capacious and worldly drama directed by Sydney Pollack is a serious invitation -- a mature filmmaker's exhortation, really -- for Americans to engage globally..."
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum (04/29/2005)

"Kidman piles on dimensions to her character the more we learn about her spotty political past..."
USA Today - Mike Clark (04/22/2005)

"The first film ever to be shot inside the United Nations is a hot-button political thriller with a sharp, timely sting..."
Rolling Stone - Peter Travers (05/05/2005)

3 stars out of 4 -- "Kidman is wholly immersed, matching Sean Penn, as the Secret Service agent investigating her claim, intense glower for intense glower."
Premiere - Sara Brady (11/01/2005)

Reviews & Research

Customer Reviews

Average review score based on 26 user reviews

67%

of customers recommend this product

Rating distributions

Created: 12/22/05

Rent or buy it used

I was riveted by the performances of Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn in Sydney Pollack's "The Interpreter". As the film unfolds, both of their bleak outlooks on life - his worn on his sleeve, hers hidden beneath the steel resolve of a life that is acetic, on the surface - meet to dance a little with each other, and Pollack, wisely, does not pursue romance, just leaves the watcher believing that the two of them will remember each other for the rest of their lives.

Penn's character, Tobin Keller, is with the Secret Service. He has recently lost a wife, in more ways than one. Sylvia Broome (Kidman) has lost a brother. You see him die in the opening scenes, but don't know he's her brother until much later in the film. Both are reserved and steely in their resolve. Their mistrust and wonderment about each other is cloaked in elegance.

The setting is the United Nations, and Pollack filmed much of the movie there, a first. His cinematography (by Darius Khondji) makes you intimate with the UN, it is crisp and alive. Sylvia is an interpreter there, one of few who can speak Ku, the primary language of the African country, Matobo. (Matobo is fictional). Some of the political heat that Pollack has taken about the film is in the "fictionalization" of Matobo. In character and events, there is much that is reminiscent of real life African countries; Pollack has merely given us a hodge podge of likely events.

Broome's knowledge of the language allows her to overhear a threat against Matobo's dictator, who is to visit the UN. The threat is brought through channels, and the wheels of security begin to invade Sylvia's and the UN's existence. Assassination of Zuwanie (Earl Cameron) would be devastating for the world opinion of the UN, and cause even more instability in his little corner of the world.

In tense sequences, the drama plays out with the UN backdrop; the most exciting scenes taking place with a potential bomb on a bus - here Pollack shifts incessantly between the bus and the security forces who track and follow it from various venues in the city. There's also a remarkable scene for Penn when he finds, without really seeing, an assassin in Sylvia's apartment.

It becomes obvious that Sylvia is no innocent bystander, that she has an agenda, that unlikely as she seems, she is an activist; is she, in part responsible for the threat? Tobin Keller does not really know, he just begins to trust his instincts about her. As the film moves rapidly (it is a long film, but the time seems to go swiftly) to the end, the filmgoer realizes that he/she's been caught up in the performances strung together with some well-filmed action sequences, but that the message that Pollack was trying to convey got a little lost, and dragged its feet. As such, the time spent viewing it is well spent, but, as you reflect on the film, you're not certain it will have a lasting affect on you.

Some points that need to be brought up - Catherine Keener is a welcome presence as Tobin's partner. She's dynamite in what is little more than a cameo. And the DVD has some excellent extras, notably: A Day in the Life of Real Interpreters, and a feature on the use of the UN for filming, The Ultimate Movie Set: The United Nations (I was less enthusiastic about the features I normally like, an alternate ending, the deleted scenes...good thing they were deleted... and scenes of Sydney Pollack at work at the set).

See it, but rent or buy it used. Hotel Rwanda was much better.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 10/03/08

The Interpreter

Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn are the leading characters in this movie. This is an action paced thriller.In one of the hidden corridors of power at the United Nations headquarters, translator(Kidman) overhears a potentally plot of an assination attempt. When federal agent(Penn) investigates her claim and digs deeper into her claim and digs deeper in her past, he begins to question whether she is a victim or a suspect.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 10/10/05

Must have for people that like intrigue!

After so much animation, reality, and lousy horror, this movie was refreshing to get. Don't miss a minute since very few actions or words that are done/spoken will come back later in the movie. I love the plot and even though I am not a huge Sean Penn fan his performance along with Nicole Kidman's are fantastic. Not a lot of blood and guts this movie is meant to challenge the mind. The DVD does offer deleted scenes, a short interview with Sydney Pollack, commentary while watching the movie that can be turned off, a look at the life of a real interpreter plus an alternate ending. I liked the alternate ending even better than the one that was shown in the movie. If you want intense, mind challenging and intriguing movie from beginning to end, this is the one for you.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 04/17/12

The INTERPRETER (DVD, 2005)

Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

Action packed political thriller by Sidney Pollack in the style of "Three Days of the Condor". Silvia Broome (Nicole Kidman) is an interpreter at the United Nations. She is a white African from the country of Matobo. Quite by accident while retrieving some personal property after hours, she overhears a whispered conversation in an African dialect discussing an upcoming assassination plot on the Matoban president during a speech that he is scheduled to deliver before the members of the U.N. in a matter of days. The Matoban president, Dr. Zuwanie (Earl Cameron) is just one more "Savoir/Peacekeeper Type" turned "Butcher/Dictator". He is under fire for "Ethnic Cleansing" and countless other atrocities. Silvia reports what she heard and the U.S. Secret Service is notified. Agent Tobin Keller (Sean Penn) is the lead and his initial assessment of Silvia is that she has too much background to totally trust. To Silvia, Dr. Zuwanie was once a hero, before her entire family died because of him. But, because it might be true, Keller has no choice but to plan for the worse.
The ensuing cat and mouse investigation brings Penn and Kidman into close circumstances where sexual tension builds, but nothing ever happens. The web of conspiracy includes workers from the Matoban delegation, political opponents of Dr. Zuwanie, his personal Chief of Security, Silvia, and Agent Keller. All factions are heading for a collision before all of the members of the U.N. The surprising conclusion will leave you speechless.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful. Was this review helpful? Yes | No

Created: 04/11/09

Intense!

An intriguing plot with intense character roles played superbly by Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn. Very enjoyable action/mystery. Twists and turns abound!

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