Set in northern Australia before World War II, an English aristocrat who inherits a sprawling ranch reluctantly pacts with a stock-man in order to protect her new property from a takeover plot. As the pair drive 2,000 head of cattle over unforgiving landscape, they experience the bombing of Darwin, Australia, by Japanese forces firsthand.
When a disgraced former college dean has a romance with a mysterious younger woman haunted by her dark, twisted past, he is forced to confront a shocking fact about his own life that he has kept secret for fifty years.
Escalating events begin when U.N. interpreter Silvia Broome alleges that she has overheard a death threat against an African head of state, spoken in a rare dialect few people other than Silvia can understand. With the words "The Teacher will never leave this room alive," in an instant, Silvia's life is turned upside down as she becomes a hunted target of the killers. Placed under the protection of federal agent Tobin Keller, Silvia's world only grows more nightmarish. As Keller digs deeper into his eyewitnesses' past and her secretive world of global connections, the more suspicious he becomes that she herself might be involved in the conspiracy. With every step of the way, he finds more reasons to mistrust her. Is Sylvia a victim? A suspect? Or something else entirely? And can Tobin, coping with his own personal heartache, keep her safe? Though they must depend on one another, Silvia and Tobin couldn't be more different. Silvia's strengths are words, diplomacy and the subtleties of ...Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Jackie Chan received a script for the film (the only time he's been offered a dramatic role in a US film), but told his manager "no," feeling his English wasn't strong enough at the time for a dialogue-heavy role. He later ran into Nicole Kidman at the Huading Awards in China, and told her this story. See more »
FBI agent King sits in the driver's seat of his unmarked 4-door sedan parked at a curb keeping surveillance on Silvia. Suddenly, Silvia opens a rear door on the opposite side of that sedan and tells King to drive somewhere. A single agent in a 4-door car would have locked the back doors to prevent what Silvia did. See more »
She wouldn't tell me her husband's name. She wouldn't even write it.
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Director Sidney Pollack has given us some very fine films in the past; THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR and TOOTSIE come immediately to mind, and he won an Oscar for OUT OF Africa (although it's not high on my personal list of his films). But not even Mr. Pollack can make a great film without having a script to start with. I think that's the lesson of THE INTERPRETER. There are many things that are just not well thought out here, and the whole suffers as a result.
Penn is great as always, Kidman does a lot with her character, but often they're wandering through the scenes in a story that doesn't seem to know where to go next. Actually the fact the movie makes any sense at all is a credit to Pollack's experience and talent. There are some great ideas here, and there's certainly a level of entertainment achieved; even some thought provoking moments. But it's clear the filmmakers weren't working from a well prepared script. 6 out of 10.
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