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When Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was assassinated by an Islamic extremist in 2004, he had recently completed a film about a duel of wits between a political reporter and the woman he's been assigned to interview — a starlet famous less for her acting than for her sex life. Van Gogh hoped to remake the film in English, and as a tribute, Steve Buscemi has now done that in a two-hander starring himself as the reporter and Sienna Miller as Katya, the starlet.

Most of the film takes place in her airplane hanger-size loft, where enough booze and cocaine is consumed in the course of a few hours to loosen tongues considerably. Soon they're trading secrets, but celebrity journalism is all about sparring — and these two are more evenly matched than they initially seem. The revelations aren't particularly believable, but getting to them is fun, and both performers are intriguing: Buscemi all dyspepsia and anger, Miller proving a devious diva, a mix of kittenish sex appeal and Machiavellian guile.

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.