Publicity Stills of "Closer"
(Courtesy from Columbia TriStar)

Best Supporting Actor: Clive Owen, "Closer."
Best Supporting Actress: Natalie Portman, "Closer."

Director: Mike Nichols
Starring: Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen
RunTime: 1 hr 44 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: M18 (Sexual References)

Release Date: 24 Feb 2005

Synopsis :

Academy Award winning director Mike Nichols follows his triumphant "Angels in America" with Closer. 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. Funny, shocking and powerful, Closer is reminiscent of such classic Nichols fare as Who's Afraid of Virginia Woof and Carnal Knowledge.

Movie Review:

The story evolves around sex, jealousy, betrayal and unfaithfulness.

It begins when Dan (Jude Law), a obituary writer met Alice (Natalie Portman), an American former stripper then-become waitress in London streets in what others might perceive as male ultimate fantasy. In her distraction, she got injured in a car accident and was saved by Dan. From there, their sexual relationship develops.

One year later, when Dan met Anna (Julia Roberts) in his photography session for his cover page of his book, he tried to seduce Anna with Alice who was just downstairs waiting for him. Anna refuses to admit she has fallen in love with him.

Dan had a sexual encounter with Larry (Clive Owen), a doctor whom Dan was posing as Anna and setting her up to meet Larry at the aquarium where the real Anna frequents. By twist of fate and the joke falls on Dan, Larry met the real Anna and soon they develop a love relationship and got into marriage.

Four years later, Anna invited Dan and Alice to her photography gallery where Anna and Dan develop an adulterous relationship unknown to Alice and Larry. What follows are a series of hurt to all parties. Larry confesses having sex with a whore on his business trip and Anna admits to her adulterous ways with Dan. It seems Alice is the only victim who is left untouched. However in the later part of the movie, you will find Alice who will get involved with Larry. For all these characters, the falling-in-love phase seems essential than maintaining a long-term relationship.

With each different scene, you will only realize that the time moved very fast by the actors’ first few lines of conversations. In this movie, I find that Larry acted very emotionally especially when he found out that Anna and Dan had a relationship and he is a funny guy who wants to find out how good Dan is in bed. Therefore in that sense, I find his character very real in reality, as he reacted explosively when he found out his wife is unfaithful to him.

As for the waiflike Alice, she is a apparent innocent who loved Dan deeply, but that did not stop her from returning to her chosen profession. In a particular scene, he reveals the truth to Alice, who breaks down, begging him to reconsider leaving her.

Dan who is unlike Larry, is a flirt who thinks love is just a game and don’t have to be responsible for the hurt he inflicted in Alice. He doesn’t love Alice but doesn’t want her to leave his side. In that sense, he is a selfish lover too.

The four characters in the movie seem to forget the word “love” as sex is almost constantly on their minds. The actors would ask questions like “Is he good in bed?” and “How many times you slept with him?” when they find out they are being betrayed by their female partners.

I like Owen and Natalie Portman’s performances, as they are able to portray out their characters in very realistic manner and shows powerful emotions. No wonder they are been nominated in the Oscars as Being Best Supporting Actor and Actress.

The movie alone is worth watching for Clive and Natalie's performances.

Movie Rating: B-

Review by Angeline

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