Friday, April 22, 2005
Movies I Have No Intention Of Seeing, #5
The Interpreter

starring: Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, lots of foreign people

directed by: Sydney Pollack

Let me just say for starters how disappointed I was to find out just this morning that there is a new crappy Ashton Kutcher movie out today. I heard an ad for it on the radio driving my kid to school. This was the first I'd heard anything about it, long after I'd settled on The Interpreter for this week's entry. Damn my mental inertia! Suffice it to say I have No Intention Of Seeing that one either. Amanda Peet is in it, but it's PG-13, so I assume fully clothed. So again, pass.


Pops likes him a good twisty political thriller. But then I got to thinking, hang on, when was the last time I saw a good twisty political thriller? I'm sure part of the problem is that I simply don't get out much (I missed The Manchurian Candidate completely), but I'm really having a hard time remembering the last time I was enthralled by anything of this genre. There was that one where Clint Eastwood beats off in a closet while watching President Gene Hackman bang some chick to death, but that visual alone is enough to ruin that whole film for me.

Then there was The Sum of All Fears a couple of years ago. That had Morgan Freeman and Ciarán Hinds and Liev Schrieber, but come on. Ben Affleck was the star, at his head-bobby, hand-wavey worst. The best thing about that movie was that it introduced me to the dark-haired Irish-American hotness that is Bridget Moynahan. No small thing that, but still...

The newspaper ad has no critic quotes, but it does declare all by itself with attribution across the top "From the acclaimed director of 3 Days of the Condor and The Firm comes THE MOST ANTICIPATED THRILLER OF THE YEAR".

Oh ho ho, re-hea-lly? If we do say so ourselves.

The director is Sydney Pollack, a guy who hasn't made a decent film since 1993 (as they say, The Firm) and hasn't made a great one since 1982 (Tootsie). At least he has a great one on his resumé, so I guess that's not nothing. Most people I think would recognize him more as an actor, like when he played a skeevy perv co-starring with Kidman in the inscrutable high-class snuff film Eyes Wide Shut.

I think it's safe to assume less masked group sex in The Interpreter though, but I'm still intrigued nonetheless. I like Nicole Kidman a lot--no, not just because she's all hot and stuff.

Though she, you know, is.

I was excited seeing and hearing the TV and radio spots for this because she was speaking in what I assumed was her native Australian accent. You almost never hear that. All the top Aussies working in Hollywood, your Russell Crowe, Kidman, Toni Collette, Portia di Rossi, Rachel Griffiths, they are never, ever, ever allowed to play a character who happens to be from Australia. Ist verboten. It's like Hollywood decided "Look, we let you do Crocodile Dundee and look where that got us. We can't take the chance."

I can't say I disagree completely.

But it's a moot point because reading the review in the newspaper today she actually plays a South African. Phew! I guess this means I can take the shrimps off the barbie, mate.

I would tell you what Entertainment Weekly said, but honestly (this is true) in the mail yesterday I got the EW dated April 15th. The one with the guys from Lost on the front. The one with the lead movie review of Fever Pitch in it I could have used two weeks ago. Bastards. And on top of that, they gave Fever Pitch an absolute, unadulterated rave. Bastards twice over.

To recap, Nicole Kidman, political thriller, Sean Penn (I begrudgingly ackowledge his competence as an actor).

The iffy-to-negative side is Sydney Pollack (this is the man who put Harrison Ford in a bow-tie in Sabrina) and the PG-13 rating, which means no bloody awful nastiness.

And still the Nicole-mentum pushes The Interpreter to a rating of
Image hosted by Two (out of 3) on the Hot Babysitter Scale.

If you're going out, see this instead of the Kutcher thing. Let's put him out of work ASAP so we can all get on with our lives and focus on Topher Grace.

Next week: a film is released I actually intend to see! Babysitting offers are now being accepted. Airfare not included.


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