Closer - the interaction of 2 couples brings them anything but...
Jude Law lends his one trick acting style to the arrogant obituary writing Dan who gets together with Alice after she"s knocked down in front of him. Thanks to the casting of Natalie Portman, Alice has a prepubescent face and makes her stripping scenes seem ill fitting and almost more suited to a Larry Clark flick.
Dan trades in the needy American girl for the steely American woman Anna. Julia Roberts continues not to justify her salary with her usual combination of the pathetic yet soulless figure. Despite playing the over bearing, uber macho Larry who gets involved with Alice to take revenge on Dan, Clive Owen stands out as the only character you don"t hate.
A noticeable feature of Closer is the line up of established actors who have the power not to do the gratuitous for gratuitous sake and despite the heavy censoring, the film does not lose its frank explicitness. However the serious flaws in the characterisation ends up with the audience caring little about them and the hurt they inflict on each other. You walk away feeling a little soiled by the complexity and blurred state of the relationships but that"s humans for you.
I wasn't prepared to be impressed with this film. On paper it looks rather pretentious and vapid, and reliant on it's four big names to market it.
I'm pleased to report however that my initial estimations were blown away when I watched Closer.
The level of acting was universally outstanding from all four actors; each embodying his/her character with excellent conviction. It was this that made me accept for the first time in a while that there are big names out there who can bring the talent to match the paycheck.
It was a bit of a different role for Julia Roberts, and she did it justice. Jude Law played the deceptive, weak cad extremely well (highly ironic given the current state of his love life!). Portman was absolutely radiant in her role, and I was really impressed with Clive Owen; after the wooden-beyond-comprehension performance in 'Arthur', he pulled off a very convincing character, which displayed some depth.
I worried that the director's intent to give us a portrayal of the darkness of modern romance would crash and burn, but it really worked well, and indeed provided the essence of the film.
The ending had just the right amount of implication to satisfy its audience. The point at which each character ended up seemed entirely appropriate to me. The final scene was excellent, both structurally (it echoes the first sequence) and in terms of its connotations.
Not as deeply depressing as 'Requiem For A Dream', but almost as good, Closer is certainly not a heart-warmer, but is a very interesting slice of realism. Nice to see an intelligent piece of film-making, which these days seems ever-more-rare.
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Please note this is a region 2 DVD and will require a region 2 (Europe) or region Free DVD Player in order to play. If you believe in love at first sight, you'll never stop looking... Writer Patrick Marber adapted the screenplay from his own scathing stageplay in which a chance meeting between Englishman Dan (Jude Law) and American visitor Alice blossoms into a troubled relationship, bringing together and then affecting a second couple involving Larry (Clive Owen) and Anna (Julia Roberts). Sex and love are explored, capturing all the vulnerability and brutality of people falling in and out of love.
Drama about four strangers (Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen), their chance meetings, instant attractions and brutal betrayals. Dan (Jude Law) is a writer in London who wants to finish a novel, but in the meantime supports himself by writing obituaries. One day he meets Alice (Natalie Portman), a beautiful American and they immediately fall for each other. Dan initially returns her affection but soon her neediness begins to wear on him. Anna (Julia Roberts) is a photographer who is hired to take a portrait of Dan for the dust jacket of his book. Dan becomes attracted to her but she soon meets Larry (Clive Owen), a dermatologist, and marries him. Dan can't get Anna out of his mind even though she's married, and the two become lovers, but Dan is frustrated by the fact that Anna is reluctant to leave Larry for him.