Opening 13 Jan 2005
Directed by Mike Nichols, Closer brings superstar Julia Roberts into the worthy company of Jude Law, Clive Owen and Natalie Portman, in a drama about relationships. It is based on the play by the same title.
Dan (Law) is a newspaper obituary writer/want-to-be author who meets and falls in love with Alice (Portman), a free-spirit type New York stripper who has chosen to "escape" to London. A year later, he meets Anna (Roberts), a divorced photographer. He is immediately attracted to her and has no qualms in letting her know it; but as soon as she realises he is already involved with someone else, she refuses his overtures. Later she meets and marries Larry (Owen), a dermatologist who adores her and gives her the kind of stability she is looking for. However, Dan’s obsession does not let him go. The outcome is the painful intertwining of four lives in a web of deception and bitter interludes.
Closer may well ask the viewer to reconsider the meaning of the saying: “All is fair in love and war”. It’s a disturbing portrayal of the subtle cruelties people are capable of inflicting on others if they are unable to rein in their passions. Though Owen and Portman in particular have been lauded for their performances, Law topped the bill for me. A different type of role for Roberts, she did not shine however, though her performance was perfectly adequate. In the end, I can not say I cared too much about what happened to any of them, an ingredient I found lacking to qualify it as a great movie. The language is frequently vulgar and in some sequences pornographic. There is no graphic sex, though everything is implied. This is most definitely an adult film. (Osanna Vaughn)