Closer (15)

Film

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Time Out says

Get this without getting a headache. Dan (Jude Law), a jobbing obituaries writer, falls in love with Alice (Natalie Portman), a spunky young American living in London, and moves in with her. A year or two later, Dan falls for Anna (Julia Roberts), an attractive photographer, but accidentally introduces her to Larry (Clive Owen), a foul-mouthed, macho dermatologist, via an internet dating site. Still, Dan eventually snags Anna, while a cuckolded Larry bags a steamy night with Alice, before Dan finally wins Alice back after tracking her down to a city strip joint…

The threat of narrative vertigo aside, it took a second viewing before I could warm to Patrick Marber’s adaptation of his own mid-’90s stageplay. Initially, it’s impossible to overcome just how cold these characters are – four slick young adults caught in a destructive cycle of stop-start, inter-connecting relationships. Furthermore, Marber piles on the alienation by showing us only the beginning and the end of these aborted pairings. It’s a trick that strengthens Marber’s assertion that love can be nasty, brutish and short, but leaves us with too many questions begging about his characters’ personalities and relationships, like ‘Who the hell are they?’

That aside, Owen and Portman give excellent, committed performances, leaving Law and Roberts in the shade. The writing is uneven (and feels dated at points), but two scenes of break-ups, in particular, are superbly penned and performed, not least when Owen bitterly quizzes Roberts as to the details of her extra-marital affair, spitting out the million-dollar question, ‘Did you come?’

At its worst, its hollow plot feels like the dreadful recent TV series, ‘NY-LON’. At its best, its script bears an alluring cruelty that is all too credible.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Jan 14, 2005

Duration:

104 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Natalie Portman, Jude Law

Editor:

John Bloom, Antonia Van Drimmelen

Production Designer:

Tim Hatley

Cinematography:

Stephen Goldblatt

Producer:

Cary Brokaw, John Calley, Mike Nichols

Screenwriter:

Patrick Marber

Director:

Mike Nichols

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5
LiveReviews|4
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Rosie

a fabulous film, i cannot reccomend it highly enough. Stunning performances from the 4 principal actors, and an excellent plot that has you confused, shocked and leaves you thinking! great film!

Rosie

a fabulous film, i cannot reccomend it highly enough. Stunning performances from the 4 principal actors, and an excellent plot that has you confused, shocked and leaves you thinking! great film!

KEITH

Couldn't believe that four quality actors would have allowed themselves work with this total rubbish. The only reason i would recommend this movie to anybody would be to let them know how bad a film can be.

Leona Luk

I didn't particularly enjoy this one - Time Out's review seems to indicate that I may enjoy it more on the second viewing...I don't think I could sit down to this again. Portman and Owens are indeed good here, however ever Owens' character is still a bit too creepy to want to spend time with and it's just a little weird hearing such foul things from Portman - not because I can only buy her as a sweet girl/woman, but because she's such an incredible actress that she's never needed to resort to being foul to put forth a character's bitterness. This whole thing was cold, and while that may be the point, even in meaningless love, there must be some heat somewhere.