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The Interpreter (2005)
Starring: Nicole Kidman, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Max Minghella
Directed by: Sydney Pollack
Release Date: April 22, 2005 (wide).
Runtime: 128 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violence, some sexual content and brief strong language.
Box Office: $71,542,675 (US total)
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Nicole Kidman stars as African-born U.N. interpreter Silvia Broome, who inadvertently overhears a death threat against an African head of state scheduled to address the United Nation's General Assembly. Realizing she's become a target of the assassins as well, Silvia's desperate to thwart the plot ... if only she can survive long enough to get someone to believe her.
Sean Penn is Tobin Keller, the federal agent charged with protecting the interpreter, who nonetheless suspects she may not be telling the whole truth. Silvia and Tobin, by nature, see life from different points of view: one, a U.N. interpreter, believes in the power and sanctity of words; the other, a Secret Service agent, believes in reading people based on their behavior, no matter what is said.
From Academy Award winner Sydney Pollack, the director behind some of the most compelling and provocative thrillers of the last two decades (Three Days of the Condor, Absence of Malice, The Firm), comes a fresh take on contemporary suspense: an intricate, knife’s-edge drama that unfolds against our 21st Century world of international terror and inside the United Nations’ hidden corridors of power. Academy Award winners Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn star in The Interpreter, the story of two opposite people who unexpectedly collide within a maze of mounting paranoia, personal secrets and explosive global events.
Shot on location in Manhattan and Southern Africa, The Interpreter is the first motion picture in history to receive inside access to the United Nations’ headquarters (which is officially international territory) in New York.
The escalating events begin when African-born U.N. translator Silvia Broome (Kidman) 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 (Penn), Silvia’s world only grows more nightmarish. As Keller digs deeper into his eyewitness’ 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 meaning, while Tobin is all about instinct, action and reading into the most primal human behaviors. Now, as the danger of a major assassination on U.S. soil grows and Silvia’s life hangs in the balance, Silvia and Tobin play out a gripping dance of evasion and revelation that keeps them both guessing as they race to stop a terrifying international crisis before it’s too late.