The initial interview between superstar and journalist goes awry. Katja (Sienna Miller) breezes into the restaurant an hour late, evicts a couple from her favorite table, and forgets everybody’s name but her own. Pierre Peters (Steve Buscemi) flaunts his disinterest in his assignment, boasting about his lack of preparation and oozing distain for his subject. After such unprofessional behavior on both sides, that the two spend less than ten minutes at the table is no surprise.
However, that they spend the next hour and a half chatting intimately in her apartment is. After Pierre has a minor accident outside the restaurant as they part ways, Katja leads the reporter back to her loft to tend to his injury. The remainder of the film consists entirely of a verbal dance between two characters in a room. Katya and Pierre trade questions about sex, family, career and attraction, then reveal or conceal the answers.
To their credit, Miller and Buscemi engage the audience’s interest in what is essentially an extended conversation for an extraordinarily long time. What should be boringly static manages to remain dynamic in their capable hands, although Miller’s treatment of the apartment as her personal jungle gym borders on the ridiculous (we get it: she’s sexy).
A surprise twist at the end emerges as the most problematic scene: for some, it will add a successful layer to the story; for others, it will undermine the characters Miller and Buscemi carefully establish.