Eyes and Ears
The Interpreter
Review by Ross Anthony

Slow in the get-go, strong on interaction, fumbling resolution. I'm a solid Sean Penn fan. I'll see anything he's in, yet it's a full twenty minutes before he even appears in "The Interpreter." During that time the film sets up its story, introduces us to Nicole Kidman's character (the picture's namesake). While working at the United Nations, she accidentally overhears whispers of an assassination to take place during a pending visit by a not-so-well-liked African leader. This is mildly amusing in content, yet rather slow in execution, faint on entertainment.

Finally, Sean Penn arrives on the scene; he's US secret service. "I'm not here to attend to you, I'm here to investigate you." He corrects the interpreter's misinterpretation of his presence. The writers take care to make misinterpretation itself a bit of a motif by playing with it in small ways, smaller discussions throughout the movie. Very nice. The dialogue between Penn and Kidman is sharp, interesting, at times rich. His acting is powerful, compelling. The screenwriters enjoy painting her as the word lover, linguist; she listens. And they paint Penn as the face man; he peers into the eyes of his subjects, tosses them some line to see if they choke themselves. He doesn't seem to trust their words as much as his gut feeling regarding their sincerity. She with ears, he with eyes: this nuance is the gem of the film.

As for suspense and action, yes, there is some (not a lot), but that plays second to the eye-ear nuance. A slight romanticism begins to weave, but feels for the most part corny. And while the music scoring works during the tenser parts of the film, it too feels corny during lighter more intimate moments.


  • . Copyright © 2005.
  • Starring Sean Penn, Nicole Kidman.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

Copyright © 1998-2016 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Check out his other sites too: Author*Illustrator*Speaker, Motobookothon 2009, M9, Write Triangle, TwT. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:07:57 PDT