Wednesday 26th January 2022

The Interpreter (12A)
Directed by: Sydney Pollack
Reviewed by: Paul Fonz

Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn team up with veteran helmer Sydney Pollack for this political thriller set around the world famous UN building. In fact it is the first, and to my knowledge the only, movie to be filmed within the UN building itself.

Nicole Kidman always wanted to star in Quadrophenia
Nicole Kidman always wanted to star in Quadrophenia

Kidman plays a South African born UN interpreter, who accidentally overhears a conversation between two shadowy Manitoban figures while hanging around in her sound booth late one night. Luckily, she is one of the few people in the UN who is capable of translating their conversation, and realises the two men are involved in a plot to kill an unpopular African head of state who is due to address the UN in the next few days. Sean Penn plays the FBI agent who is called in to investigate her claims and find out if there is indeed a credible threat, and is so, who is behind it.

This film has a storyline that is interesting enough, and the performances from the whole cast are very good. However, the film fails to deliver the required amount of tension and intrigue to stop it feeling slow-paced. The twists and turns of the plot are not set up as well as they should be and when they arrive they are neither dramatic nor shocking enough to feel like a good pay-off.

It seems Pollack has shifted too much of the focus of the film onto the characters, something we'd normally be grateful for, but in this case the characters are not really worthy of the attention they are given. The tension of the plot – probably the only thing this film has going for it – is neglected as a result and, unfortunately, the finished product is a drawn out affair that some may even consider boring.

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Length: 128 minutes
Certificate: 12A
Official Site:
IMDB Link:
Release Date: 15th April 2005

Top Five Rating: 50.0%50.0%50.0%50.0%50.0%50.0%50.0%50.0%50.0%50.0% (50.0%)
User Rating: 0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0%0.0% (0.0%)

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