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It’s Miller Time

Based on the 2003 original by Dutch director Theo van Gogh, whose death at the hands of an Islamic terrorist inspired Steve Buscemi’s lurid remake, Interview will not establish Sienna Miller as a household name, but it should cement her reputation as fierce, courageous performer.

As Katya, the tabloid queen whose skeletons spill from the closet as she drowns herself in booze and cocaine, she is riveting -- coy and manipulative one minute, vulnerable and overcome by depression the next. It is a revealing, star-making turn for an actress previously best known as Jude Law’s embittered ex.

Luckily, Buscemi, who also co-stars, has crafted a remake that not only pays fitting tribute to the original, but also provides a worthy stage for Miller’s performance. He is deliciously rotten as Pierre Peders, the bitter, self-loathing journalist who has been assigned to interview Katya, and when he speaks, every syllable is punctuated by an almost palpable venom.

Clearly, he believes the interview is beneath him. Despite his familiarity with Katya’s infamous reputation, he claims not to know her, and cherishes the opportunity to cut her down. He doesn’t talk so much as snarl, and it’s not long before the vitriol he spews is directed right back at himself.

In many ways, he is Katya’s foil, lacking even a hint of self-esteem, but as inhabitants of two very different worlds who have nothing better to do than verbally spar for one vicious evening, they are worthy adversaries. Even when they’re saying close to nothing, rambling on in a sort of intoxicated delirium, it’s impossible to avert your eyes.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars