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Friday, December 10, 2004
Movie Review: Closer

Mike Nichols' Closer is a heartbreaking film. It's a film filled with people doing stupid, hurtful things, but that's ok. Like House of Sand and Fog (and unlike John Q) the stupid decisions are completely believable. When people do stupid, irrational things simply because the writer thinks the plot needs more conflict it doesn't work. In Closer this isn't the case. Being an outside observer you want to just grab the characters by their shoulders, shake them and tell them to wise up before they screw things up even worse but the characters are making their messed up decisions because they're messed up people. Natalie Portman's Alice wants Jude Law's Dan to let her love him, but at the same time she can't open herself up to him. Julia Roberts' Anna wouldn't know what to do if she were happy and so she ends up sabotaging her relationships, including with her husband, Clive Owen's Larry. Everybody is hurting everybody else, nobody really has a real right to get too upset about what is being done to them, they're giving as good as they get.

The movie was adapted by Patrick Marber from his own play, and you can really tell that it evolved from the stage. In the entire film I believe there are seven speaking roles, the four main characters plus a taxi driver, a customs officer and a receptionist. (And none of the latter 3 have more than 1 line of dialogue.)

All in all the movie just works.

3 1/2 out of 4 stars.

Posted by Rob Bernard on Friday, December 10, 2004 at 8:25 PM in Movies

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