Film: Closer

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Film:

Closer

Director: Mike Nichols
Honors:
Genres:
Distributor: Sony Pictures

Four extremely beautiful people do extremely horrible things to one another in Closer, Mike Nichols’ pungent adaptation of Patrick Marber’s play that easily marks the Oscar-winning director’s best work in years. Anna (Julia Roberts) is a photographer who specializes in portraits of strangers; Dan (Jude Law) is an obituary writer struggling to become a novelist; Alice (Natalie Portman) is an American stripper freshly arrived in London after a bad relationship; and Larry (Clive Owen) is a dermatologist who finds love under the most unlikely of circumstances.…

Reviews

Amazon.com

Four extremely beautiful people do extremely horrible things to one another in Closer, Mike Nichols’ pungent adaptation of Patrick Marber’s play that easily marks the Oscar-winning director’s best work in years. Anna (Julia Roberts) is a photographer who specializes in portraits of strangers; Dan (Jude Law) is an obituary writer struggling to become a novelist; Alice (Natalie Portman) is an American stripper freshly arrived in London after a bad relationship; and Larry (Clive Owen) is a dermatologist who finds love under the most unlikely of circumstances. When their paths cross it’s a dizzying supernova of emotions, as Nichols and Marber adroitly construct various scenes out of their lives that pair them again and again in various permutations of passion, heartbreak, anger, sadness, vengeance, pleading, deception, and most importantly, brutal honesty. It’s only until you’re more than halfway through the movie that you’ll have to ask yourself exactly why you are watching such a beautifully tragic tale, as Closer is basically the ickiest, grossest, most dysfunctional parts of all your past relationships strung together into one movie. Ultimately, it falls to the four actors to draw you deeper into the story; all succeed relatively, but it’s Law and Owen whose characters will cut you to the quick. Law proves that yet again he’s most adept at playing charming, amoral bastards with manipulative streaks, and Owen is nothing short of brilliant as the character most turned on by the energy inherent in destructive relationships—whether he’s on the giving or receiving end. —Mark Englehart

Barnes and Noble

Those who enjoy movies that reflect real life and don’t pander to their audiences with contrived happy endings will welcome this Mike Nichols-directed adaptation of Patrick Marber’s biting play. Nobody can accuse Nichols of turning out conventional Hollywood pap—not this time, anyway. The plot revolves around the passions, repressions, and infidelities of four people in London. Newspaper obituary writer and aspiring novelist Dan (Jude Law) falls in love with Alice (Natalie Portman), an enigmatic American girl with a checkered past. While involved with her he becomes smitten with prominent photographer Anna (Julia Roberts), who brushes him off in favor of lusty dermatologist Larry (Clive Owen), an Internet chat buddy of Dan’s. When the dynamics of their respective relationships change, novelist and photographer find themselves together again, little realizing how drastically their affair will affect the lives of all four people. Marber’s screenplay teems with terse, brittle dialogue that is brilliantly delivered by a superb cast. Each of the principal players brings something special to his or her characterization, and the added dimension makes them all the more compelling, though maybe not sympathetic. None of them are blameless in the debacle resulting from their various dalliances—Nichols and Marber aren’t interested in giving us morally pure protagonists. Real-life romances are often messy, and the resolution of the conflict presented in this movie is believable precisely because the actors and filmmakers work hard to make the situation authentic. Closer is definitely a must-see film, even if, to use an old phrase, it’s a little cold around the heart. Ed Hulse

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