Greetings again from the darkness. The film is based on the original screenplay by Theodor Holman and a 1993 version directed by Vincent Van Gogh distant relative Theo Van Gogh, who was shot and killed in Amsterdam. Theo Van Gogh, a renowned journalist, once said "I prefer covering the war between a woman and a man." With this remake, director and actor Steve Buscemi does a wonderful job of doing just that. The set-up is simple enough. Buscemi plays a political journalist whose editor believes has lost his edge and is now assigning him fluff pieces. Enter the fluff piece ... a beautiful actress who is known more for her off screen "romances" than on screen talent. Sienna Miller plays the actress Katya and delivers an outstanding performance; by far, the best of her career. She is all over the place with the role, but stays focused on the internal torment and remarkable people smarts that Buscemi's Pierre is lacking. Along the lines of "My Dinner with Andre" and "Before Sunset", there is an enormous amount of dialogue and interaction between the two leads, who are on screen 95% of the time. Quite a statement in human nature's preponderance to pre-judge others, this is like peeling back the layers of an onion as each character uncovers a bit more about the other over alcohol, screaming and tender moments. Of course, the whole time the viewer is skeptical about which stories are real and which are fabricated or embellished for the purpose of the moment. Really an interesting film and directed with a nice touch by Buscemi, who is also at his usual high level of acting. Don't miss the quick glimpse of the real life Dutch star Katja Schuurman, who was in the Van Gogh version of the film. She is the lady who steps from the limo and greets Buscemi's character. A must see for those who love the structure of scenes with dialogue rather than special effects. And remember, there is always a winner and a loser.
After falling out with his editor, a fading political journalist is forced to interview America's most popular soap actress.
August 12, 2020