is the kind of thriller that Alfred Hitchcock would have wanted to make.
Not necessarily because of plot and character, but because Hitchcock could have filmed
in the United Nations building on Manhattan,. When directing "North by Northwest,"
Hitchcock filmed the murder that Cary Grant witnessed on the studio lot.
Sean Penn is no Archie Leach, but he gives a low key performance as a Secret Service agent
who must investigate the threat of an assassination. Nicole Kidman has the meatier role as
the interpreter who overhears whispers of murder. The kiss of death that separate good thrillers from mediocre ones are well the exposition screens flow. The exposition scenes flow like a well
lubed NASCAR engine.
Director Sidney Pollack has staged a bit of a comeback with "The Interpreter,"
it his best directed movie since "The Firm" in 1993. After negotiating agreements with both
Kofi Annan and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York City and the United Nations Building
has never looked cleaner.