Closer (2004)


Where is this love? I can’t see it, I can’t touch it. I can’t feel it. I can hear it. I can hear some words, but I can’t do anything with your easy words.

— Alice

Patrick Marber adapted his play into the Mike Nichols’ directed feature, Closer. It takes an unflinching look at love, desire, deception, infidelity and happiness in relationships. It has been years since I have seen this movie. It still holds up. It’s a powerful narrative with some outstanding performances from Natalie Portman and Clive Owen who were nominated for Oscars for their portrayals.

The movie starts with the chance meeting on a London street when a New York transplant and former stripper, Alice (Portman) catches the eyes with an obituary writer, Dan (Jude Law), then she is struck by cab. While in the waiting room, the two begin to have a sweet flirtation that turns into something more.

A couple of months pass, Dan is the studio apartment of Anna’s (Julia Roberts) getting his picture done for the jacket of his book that is loosely based on Alice’s life. During their session, Dan flirts with the recently divorced woman and convinces himself that he loves her. He wants to see her, but he is in a relationship with Alice. Anna rebuffs Dan’s advances.

One night in retaliation, Dan corresponds on sex chat room with a dermatologist, Larry (Owen) pretending to be Anna. During the course of the session, Dan asks Larry to meet Anna at the local aquarium that he knows that she frequents for a quick shag at a nearby hotel.

Larry meets the real Anna at the aquarium where the miscommunication of the previous night leads to an unexpected romance between the two. The four players finally meet each other on the night of Anna’s photo exhibit, “Strangers.” They size each other up.

This movie deals with beginnings and ends. There is no boring middle. None of these four people wanted to be close to one another. They want to keep a safe distance from each other to string each other along to torture the other.

This movie is brutally honest to a fault. These damaged people are nasty to each other. It pommels you as a viewer that you have to look away from the screen to save yourself. The performances from Law and Roberts ring false. You don’t believe that these people were in aguish.

Judgment: A relationship movie that you shouldn’t see with the person that you are going to break up with.

Rating: ****


About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on October 16, 2009, in 2004, Academy Award Nominee, Drama and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I like your judgement on this film, thats totally right. Its not a film you want to even watch with someone you are in a relationship with as its just so not what you want to watch.

    I thought the four actors were fantastic in this.

  2. Clive Owen and Natalie Portman were the stars of this flick. It was a brutal movie to watch, and in some ways good, but some ways atrocious. I’m not really sure what it accomplished.

    • I believe it showed that relationships are not all love poems and flowers. It’s the dark side of love. It’s a very pessimistic view of it.

  3. Closer is no joke and it’s got the brave, mature performances of an all-star cast to prove it. It’s a movie in which characters feel each other up with their hands and knock each other down with words.

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