Director Mike Nichols brings Patrick Marber's highly acclaimed theatrical tour de force Closer to the screen. An uncompromisingly honest look at modern relationships, Closer is the story of four strangers (Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen) - their chance meetings, instant attractions and brutal betrayals.
Real Life on the Big Screen
- Closer review by Kevin Stanley
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You rated this film: 5
Dan (Jude Law) a lazily dressed failed novelist who can’t find his “voice” writes the obituary column of a London newspaper. He meets young and sexy, exotic dancer Alice (Natalie Portman) after she’s knocked down by a car. There’s an instant attraction and a relationship begins. Still it’s not long before Dan becomes interested in another pretty woman.
Law following up his fine turn in Alfie produces an excellent performance as a man with a mixed character who’s addicted to the truth yet takes delight in deception. Natalie Portman, such a natural performer also impresses, seducing the viewer as the impulsive and voracious Alice.
Clive Owen plays Larry a dermatologist. Working class lad made, good he’s nouveau upper-middle class with some dangerously rough edges. His character arc is broad but there’s nothing that Owen can’t pull off in this role. From pathetic and obsessive to petulant and sexually aggressive, his performance is near perfect as he hits a career high.
Julia Roberts rounds out the quartet of lead stars and shows us a few new tricks.
Brutal at times, it’s also tender and touching, Closer is a wonderful effort from director Mike Nichols. Totally uncompromising in its delivery, script and portrayal of couples in love, and hate, it won’t be to everyone’s taste. Yet it’s distinctive, compelling, the characters are believable and there’s not a join-the-dots romance in sight. I personally thought it was brilliant.
Closer is the closest I’ve seen to real life at the cinema for a long time.
Painful but compelling
- Closer review by Rubber Ducky
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You rated this film: 4
Mike Nicholls gets masterful performances out of the four leads. I don't normally rate Clive Owen but this has to be a tour de force for him, as he portrays a very complex character who is sinister and weak at the same time. Natalie Portman is the other highlight of the film, as an exotic dancer who catches the eye of Law and Owen. The film is brutally honest and I think some people will find it painful to watch, yet it is a realistic look at relationships in today's society.
Every time a Jude Law movie comes out I am lured into watching it becasue he is lovely to look at and yet every time I sit down to watch the actual movie it turns out to be a bore. And so it is with Closer. Roberts and Law just don't have the chemistry going on and you know that they can't really last. The weird way in which the time flies and suddenly you are transported four months on is umm...strange. I wish I could say it was profound or deep and meaningful in any way but it really isn't. Yes it explores relationships but not in an exciting kind of way...