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Closer
Photograph: Sony Pictures Releasing

Been to the London park where Jude Law and Natalie Portman got ‘Closer’?

Exploring the leafy secret at the heart of Mike Nichols’s psychodrama

Written by
Thomas Hobbs
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A dark snapshot of pre-Tinder dating in the big city, Mike Nichols’ Closer sizzled and skulked through a variety of recognisable London locations. But one of its key locales is a lot less well-known...

The location: Postman’s Park, EC1

The scene: Flirty obituary writer Dan (Jude Law) chats up redhead Alice (Natalie Portman) while taking a stroll through the City. They end up in Postman’s Park admiring the garden’s stunning memorial plaques. ‘I’ve been here before,’ notes Dan, mournfully.

Then: This beautiful park, which opened in 1880, was at the core of Mike Nichols’ 2004 psychodrama, providing Law’s character with a place to reflect in-between hopping from Portman’s to Julia Roberts’s beds. Its name derives from its position opposite the General Post Office building. In 1900, sculptor George Frederic Watts created a memorial shelter with vibrant glazed plaques in the park. They were dedicated to ordinary men, women and children who lost their lives saving others.

Closer
Photograph: Andy ParsonsPostman’s Park IRL

Now: Bar the tree ferns and a goldfish pond, the park has changed little since 1900. Its historic winding paths, flowerbeds, benches and lawns all remain. Architectural historian Edmund Burd says: ‘It is a truly unique garden with a poignant history – an oasis of calm at the heart of our bustling city.’ It’s easy to miss but well worth a visit.

Closer is streaming on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, YouTube and Google Play.

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