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Closer (DVD)

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      04.07.2012 05:25
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      • "Unmemroable really"

      A good enough one off watch for me!

      Film Only Review:



      The start of the film begins set in London (well all of it is actually) with Dan (Jude Law) a frustrated writer that now writes obituries in a column being attracted to Alice (Natalie Portman) and their eyes meeting in the street. With her not watching where she is going as she's quite interested in the spectacle wearing Dan and gets run over and that's how her and Dan meet, he becomes a knight in shining armour and takes her to all the highlights in London (well sort of lol).



      About a year later we catch up with them living together and her being American and an ex stripper is now settled in her life with Dan. Shes now a waitress, hes now a writer of a book and smartened up in the looks stakes and they seem a happy enough couple.



      However a run in with Anna (Julia Roberts) changes all that and after a quick snog between her Dan after she's taken photographs of him for his book cover, he becomes slightly obsessed by her. She rebuks him knowing he's in a relationship and at this time she is seperated but there is a undenable chemistry between the pair.



      In the meantime Anna meets rough round the edges Doctor Larry (Clive Owen) who meets her in an aquarium she likes to visit with him believing they've had cybersex the previous night and oddly enough him and Anna end up together.



      However another year later secrets and lies come out, people backstab eachother and revenge is a best dish served cold but to who? Can Anna and Dan really be together and will Alice who starts out deeply in love with Dan still want him by the end of the film or not? Can people live happily ever after and does true love exist is a subject examined in this film.



      My Verdict:



      Well I didn't expect very much from this film at all to be honest and had seen some of it way, way back when it first came out in 2004 and wasn't impressed and truthfully I bought it from a charity shop for me and my mate to watch for a pound. However I really liked this film, my mate on the other hand did not and was less than impressed with my choice it has to be said!



      The film is beautifully shot and the four main characters all act their little hearts out. I didn't like any of the characters as found them all selfish and particulary hated the characters of the two male leads. I couldn't get my head round the smart Anna getting with Larry as he was smarmy and rude but then I couldn't understand why she fancied Dan so much cos he just looked so young with her and was rather childish!



      What I did like was all the characters chemistry with eachother and although I didn't learn much by the end of the film I enjoyed getting there. There's a lot of sexual references particulary referred to by Larry but then I'm broad minded but I seriously loathed him by the end lol.



      Its a good enough film, quite interesting but I wouldn't pay more than I did for it and it is available on Amazon.



      Certificate 15 and the runtime of this is 104 minutes.

      This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.

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        05.04.2010 01:17
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        More substance needed to make the characters actions believable

        Closer is a romantic chickflick with some of my favourite actors
        Natalie Portman as Alice
        Jude Law as Dan
        Julia Roberts as Anna
        Clive Owen as Larry

        The film opens with Jude Law and Natalie Portman spotting each other on a busy London street to the strains of Damien Rice' The Blowers Daughter. So far so good.
        What happens next is the catalyst for a series of events bringing together four people on an emotional roller coaster.
        The DVD blurb claims this to be "an uncompromisingly honest look at modern relationships, their chance meetings, instant attractions and brutal betrayals."

        Jude Law plays Dan, a newspaper obituary writer, slightly geeky but good looking who meets Alice (Natalie Portman) in the opening scene.
        As a result of meeting Alice, Dan writes a book and consequently we find him being photographed by Anna, played by Julia Roberts. Later, and a chance encounter in an online chat room sees the introduction of Clive Owen as Larry and the main cast is complete.

        Without giving away anything of the story line, we see the developing relationships between the four principle characters.
        I think I would probably have enjoyed this film more had I been able to understand who these characters were supposed to be, for they just didn't seem to be believable as real people.
        Larry made an improbable surgeon and for me Clive Owen was just not convincing in the role.
        An authentic performance from Julia Roberts as the seemingly grounded Anna, is let down by an unlikely twist in the story and the credibility of the tale rapidly deteriorates.
        I felt I just couldn't connect with Dan as he was a character who never really established himself despite the valiant effort of Jude Law. Was he the likeable geek, a sophisticated writer, a playboy, a stalwart lover? He appeared to be all of these and in the end none. The scene in Larry's rooms near the end of the film bordered on the ridiculous and left me completely disbelieving of the whole thing, characters and all.

        Natalie Portman's Alice was perhaps the most real of all four characters and the most interesting. She was certainly the most likeable of the four and I felt I wanted to know more about her which given the ending was probably the intention.

        All in all I felt that it was a dissatisfying film with vague characters and wobbly juvenile plot.
        Not recommended.

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          25.03.2010 11:10
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          Its a well-made film but it leaves you feeling miserable!!

          Stars: Natalie Portman (Alice), Jude Law (Dan), Julia Roberts (Anna) and Clive Owen (Larry).

          Basic plot: The film follows the lives, loves, and relationships of the four main characters (see above).

          I'm not going to discuss the plot of this film in detail, mostly because I hate it when you read a review of a film and they tell you exactly what happens. Instead, I'll give you an idea of the feel of the film.

          I don't know why, but what I expected before I watched this film was a chick/flick style romance. This is not what I got.

          Basically it's an extremely depressing, sad and bitter look at love.
          So if your like me and want everyone to be happy at the end of a film...don't watch this!

          The only good thing about the film is the acting (in particular Natalie Portman)

          For the men, if it's your turn to watch a romantic film to appease the girlfriend/wife then choose this one. Some of the film is set in a strip club, so you get to see some nakedness (including Natalie Portman).

          To sum it up: worth a watch (if unlike me not every film has to end happily ever after), but wouldn't bother buying it.

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            24.03.2010 19:52
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            A great watch

            This is a film only review about a film I watched recently called Closer.

            The reason I became intrigued about watching this film in the first place was because of a music video I was watching on YouTube. It was the video to one of my favourite songs; The Blower's Daughter by Damien Rice. The video was made up of scenes from this film and when I read the comments below the video saying how good a film this was, and when I saw that it had Jude Law in it, I wanted to see it for myself.



            A little information about the film

            Closer was directed by Mike Nichols and written by Patrick Marber. It was released into UK cinemas in January 2005 and fits under the genres of drama and romance.
            The tagline for this film is 'if you believe in love at first sight, you never stop looking'. The plot in summary is basically about two couples whose love lives become complicated when a man from one couple meets the woman from another couple.
            Closer was nominated for two Oscars and won another eight awards.
            Runtime: 104 minutes
            Certified: 15



            Cast List

            These are the four main characters in the film. We don't really meet anyone else except these four people. They are all great in their roles and I think they acted this film very well. All the characters are gorgeous and witty with what they say which makes the film all the more enjoyable. The film is based in London and they all have English accents and good jobs, except for Alice who is from New York and is a waitress/ stripper. Dan is with Alice but falls in love with Anna which causes trouble and tears. Even Jude Law cries in this!

            Natalie Portman .... Alice
            Jude Law.... Dan
            Julia Roberts .... Anna
            Clive Owen.... Larry



            Did I enjoy the film?

            I really enjoyed this film. From the moment I started watching it I didn't want to leave the room. This is unlike many other romantic dramas, which can be boring and same-y. I thought this was different to most romance films I've seen and I was hooked from the very first scene.
            Although this is a romantic drama I would also say it is partly a comedy, as there are some really funny bits in this as well as lots of arguing between the couples. This made me laugh out loud a few times.

            I thought the story was great and although it wasn't that original it compared to some films I think the writer did a great job at keeping the viewer's interest.
            There were some scenes inappropriate for under fifteen year olds in this film, as there were themes such as nudity, sex references and lots of swearing.



            Soundtrack

            The music for this film comes from the album O by Damien Rice. It features his songs 'Blower's Daughter' and 'Cold Water' which are two of my favourite songs. Damien Rice also wrote a song 'Closer' which was initially intended to be used for the film but which he never got round to finishing in time.
            I really love the music in the film and rate the soundtrack very highly.



            Overall

            Overall there isn't that much to say about this film without spoiling the story and I don't want to bore you either. All I will say is that I really enjoyed this film and found it a great watch which I would watch again. I definitely recommend it, just not to under fifteen year olds. It was a great story, extremely well written and very sad.

            Definitely worth a watch.

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              03.12.2009 21:54
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              A unique, honest film

              note: also appears in part on Flixster and The Student Room

              Closer is based on his award-winning 1997 play of the same name, and recieved large acclaim upon release for its sterling performances, particularly from Natalie Portman (in a role hugely against type, featuring her first nude role that was then cut out when Portman asked the director to), and Clive Owen. It is unique in as much as while it is undoubtedly a drama, it also is very honest and doesn't pander to audience sensibilities to have something dynamic and over the top happening all the time.

              The film introduces us to Alice Ayres (Natalie Portman), an American who has come to London and found herself making a living as a stripper, and Dan Woolf (Jude Law), a budding writer has yet to find success and so writes obituaries in the local paper. However, when Alice is almost killed after being hit by a car, the two become lovers. We catch up after the short prologue a year later, where things have changed somewhat: Dan is now trying to coax Anna Cameron (Julia Roberts), an American photographer into an affair, while also getting to know Larry Gray (Clive Owen) over a chat room. All four of these people ultimately intersect, with ugly consequences.

              One of the most honest films about relationships that you'll ever come across, Closer benefits from its curious theatrical origins as well as dishy dramatic material. All four involved perform acting masterstrokes (particularly Owen in his most acclaimed role), and the script truly drags you into the world of these people. What could well have been trash is actually the complete opposite, and one of the best films of 2004.

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              16.11.2009 09:18
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              Good drama

              Julia Roberts stars in this enjoyable drama alongside Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen, it is a film about relationships and how different priorities in peoples lives affect their behaviour. It is a good film with a strong cast.

              Roberts plays Anna a successful photographer and she is in a relationship wth Dan (Law) who writes obituaries for a living however he dream is to be a successful author. The other actors roles consists of former stripper Alice (Portman) who lives with Larry (Owen) who is a dermatologist.

              Dan ends up falling for both women as they each have very different things to offer especially as he has a high sex drive and the story basically revolves around the impact these relationships have on all those invlved. The story does jump around a bit moving forwards and backwards in time frames which can make it a bit hard to follow at times as you need the dialogue to fill in the gaps.

              Fortunately the script for this film is one of its strong points alongside some excellent performances from a talented cast. Jude Law was the one who surprised me the most with his performance, I have always known that Julia Roberts can act and both Owen and Porter are competent enough however I always thought Law was a bit light weight however in this he does shine really getting across the insecurities of his character..

              An enjoyable adult drama with lots of sex references and a film that is well worth seeing.

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                29.08.2009 09:53
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                Good drama

                Closr is a very enjoyable movie with a strong cast who turn in some solid performances. It is a film primaily about relationships between four idividuals whose lives are inter woven together through different events.

                Julia Roberst stars alongside Jude Law, she plays Anna who is a photographer while Jude Law character is called Dan and his character writes Obituaries for a living which is hardly a laugh a minute career however he deams of being a successful author and is on the verge of having a book published. Alongside these two you have Natalie Portman as Alice who is a former stripper who now works as a waitress and Larry a dermatologist played by Clive Owen.

                At times the plot gets rather confusing as it does jump about quite a bit in terms of time frames with the different relationships that are formed between the four people that sees Dan somewhat in the middle as he falls for both women despite being initially rejected by Anna.

                The film benefits from some great dialogue and some very good performances especially I felt from Jude Law who is excellent in the role of Dan. The film relies heavily on the depth of the characters created and the way that they interact with insecurities and desires coming to the fore to disrupt their lives and create an interesting bit of film making.

                The film is quite sexually explicit with regards to the language used so some viewers might not find that to their tastes however I found this to be an intelligent piece of film making and an enjoyable watch.

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                  27.08.2009 09:48
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                  4 people show us the path of their relationships

                  I really could not make up my mind if I wanted to see this film or not but I think the deciding factor for me was Jude law and Julia Roberts. I have to say that not knowing what to expect from this film I was indeed very surprised by it.

                  The plot is somewhat different to any film I have seen before. There are 4 main characters, Dan who writes Obituaries for a living and is just releasing a book, Anna who is a photographer, Larry a Dermatologist and Alice who used to be a stripper but is now working as a waitress.

                  At the start of the film we see Dan and Alice meeting each other and instantly falling for one another and then we move to a year later when Dan is off having his photograph taken for the cover of his new book when he meets Alice. Alice is divorced and she and Dan instantly find an attraction between themselves but Alice rejects Dan when she finds he has a girlfriend. Dan thinks he is getting his own back on Anna by making a date with a stranger over a sex chat website but when Anna meets Larry, the guy who made the date, they end up having a relationship.

                  The film moves on another 3-4 years then and we see just how these relationships have moved on and how the couples are finding being together. Will the relationships still be the same or will there be some adultery and game playing between the two couples?

                  At the start of this film I did find it a bit confusing when it moved through the years as there was no real indication as to the time frame which was meant to have passed, we only found out through some little thing which one of the characters would say. I did however manage to continue to follow the story with a lot of concentration. I found the storyline to be good and very different from anything else which I have seen before.

                  The fact that this film is only based around 4 characters may make it seem quite boring but I can say that I did not find this. I did however think that all the events were a little too unrealistic as to the extent that they happened, don't get me wrong I do know that people have affairs and fall for other people instantly but it was quite far fetched at times.

                  The characters were all very good in the film and my favourite was Jude Law who played Dan, he was a first quite sweet and innocent but as the film progressed we did get to see a lot of different sides to him. Julia Roberts took the role of Anna and I think she did a great job and I liked how her character was quite hard to read and she kept her cards close to her chest. Natalie Portman played the role of Alice and she as very good and I liked how she was quite lively and fun and the complete opposite of Anna. She worked very well with Jude Law and they had a great on screen chemistry. The one character in the film which I did like at first was Larry, played by Clive Own, at the start of the film he was a nice polite Doctor and had a lot of respect for Anna but as the film went on I started to see a completely different side to him and found him to be very arrogant and nasty.

                  The film was set in London in the present time so not much attention was needed to the settings and scenery , all which e did see was appropriate and fitted well into the film. The music throughout the film was good although none of the tracks really stood out I did find it appropriate for the places which it was used.

                  There was a lot of sex talk and language in this film but I did not get offended by this and both me and hubby both had a good laugh at the conversation which was held on line when Dan was trying to set Anna up. I do not recommend anyone under the age of 15 watching this film. This film does have a 15 certificate anyway. The running time of this film is 1 hour and 40 minutes and I did find that this was quite long enough.

                  The DVD which we have does not have any bonus features but this in no loss to me as I am not a fan of them anyway. I managed to get this DVD for just £3 in Tesco's which I felt was a bargain.

                  I am going to recommend this film as it gives a good and different insight into relationships but do not watch if you are easily offended by bad language and sex talk.

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                    05.08.2009 16:01
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                    This is very Close!

                    This film has been sat in my "to watch" pile for a while now and I wish I had watch it sooner. Simply brilliant!

                    Closer boasts a great cast in the form of Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen. This is a very gripping and quite dark tale of love, betrayal, sex, loyalty and revenge.

                    This film can be rather crude in places, especially with some of dialogue. So for more delicate ears this film may not be appropriate. The film has a rather twisted plot but it is still quite easy to follow. I think the movies success is partly based on how it delves into human nature and the morality involved in relationships.

                    I think that what is also interesting, having subsequently spoken to various friends about the film, is that different people view the characters differently at the end of the movie. Who was the real hero or villain, if any?

                    Personally, my champion in the movie was Clive Owen. Not only was his acting top notch (as per usual) but his character has the best lines. Even though it's dark and gritty in places I could not help but be shocked into laughing.

                    Closer comes close and hits the bullseye!

                    Anna: Why are you dressed?
                    Larry: Because I think you may be about to leave me and I didn't want to be wearing a dressing gown.

                    Thank you for reading.

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                      17.10.2008 09:55
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                      The intimate entanglement of four 'beautiful people' and their ugly lives

                      Closer is a dark story about modern relationships. It dissects the emotions and secret thoughts of four different people. Outwardly they have strength, arrogance even, but their fragility and insecurity are exposed brutally, almost to the point where we regard ourselves as voyeurs.

                      The Characters

                      Alice Ayers - Natalie Portman
                      A young American, working as a stripper in London

                      Dan Woolf - Jude Law
                      A journalist whose career stagnates in the Obituries section. Later the author of a book, based on Alice's life

                      Larry Gray - Clive Owen
                      A doctor in a hospital who treats Alice after an accident. Later specialises in plastic surgery. Is tricked by Dan on the internet into thinking he is a woman and having cybersex. He arranges to meet at London Aquarium and ends up meeting Anna.

                      Anna Cameron - Julia Roberts
                      A photographer who takes the sleeve pictures for Dan's novel. Later has an exhibition which includes some photographs she has taken of Alice.


                      My thoughts

                      Having seen Patrick Marber's play, I was sceptical about it's translation to film. It works superbly in the theatre but the structure did not seem likely to translate effectively to the cinema. For instance, the cybersex scene between Dan and Larry lasts for about ten minutes, with nothing happening other than pornographic comments rolling across computer screens. I did not think this would work on film. I admit I was wrong.

                      I was also wrong about the stark messages of the film being lost by having a stellar cast. Despite the popcorn movies the quartet have made, they are undeniably good actors, and this film demonstrates that.

                      Marber himself wrote the screenplay, and I had the feeling he only made concessions to film-making where he thought they would strengthen his narrative. This results in some highly effective cinematic moments courtesy of Stephen Goldblatt, particularly the opening and closing scenes of the film, where Alice walks through a crowd of people. Shot in slow motion, with everything blurred apart from her, it's as though you are seeing her the way Dan saw her. Where there is no need to try and change the theatrical feel of the story, Mike Nichols, the director, leaves it alone.

                      The locations used underpin the bleakness of the film. Clean and sharp, almost clinical. Even the London Aquarium, which should be vibrant and calming at the same time, seems devoid of warmth.

                      That, ultimately, is what this story needs, whether on film or stage. There are aspects of these characters we like, but they remain dislikeable. They are manipulative and self-serving, striving for something better, but left hollow by the experience. Despite numerous funny and sweet moments, this is not a comfortable film to watch. The four main characters are our only focus for just short of an hour and a half. We see every flawed facet of them, which makes us question our own lives, achievements and desires.

                      When you do watch Closer, make sure you've got something else to make you laugh again afterwards. You'll need it!

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                        15.09.2008 15:49
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                        wow, a film with a brain

                        One of my all time favourite films.

                        "If you believe in love at first sight, you never stop looking"


                        **Before you watch this please know that the film is based on a play and the script is that of the play which at first does seem strange, be patient though and you'll get into it!**

                        The film was released in the UK In January 2005.



                        Closer is a film based around just 4 characters, Larry, Anna, Dan and 'Alice'- real name Jane. They enter into a strange 'love square' and things get very complicated as this partner swapping progresses!

                        The film is set in the city of London and sad as I may be I did a little 'Closer' tour with my boyfriend when we were there just after the film had been released, visiting the places visited in the film such as Postmans Park, a place where people who die as heroes are remembered by plaques on the walls (this is where 'Alice' comes up with her name after reading a plaque and that plaque is actually there I saw it!)


                        The Plot
                        ~~~~~~~
                        The film starts with Dan meeting Alice in the street after they catch each others eye and Alice walks straight into the path of the car after being distracted by Dan! She's a kooky American and he's a straight laced English Obituary writer, a very mis-matched couple from the start....
                        The other couple in the film are Larry, a doctor who meets Anna, a photographer by accident after being unknowingly set up by Dan in an online sex chatroom. She is American and he is English again, they seem a better match but appearances can be deceiving.

                        I won't say anymore as not to spoil the plot as the strangest pairings occur within this square!


                        The Cast
                        ~~~~~~~~
                        Natalie Portman sizzles as the sexy American Alice, my secret crush after the scene in the lap dancing bar!
                        Clive Owen, my favourite actor is amazing as Larry, great as the sexy older man, I wish.....my favourite scene with him is in the lap dancing bar and at home with Anna, in both he says some pretty shocking, rude stuff but makes it seem inoffensive somehow! If you are easily offended fast forward at this point though.

                        Julia Roberts isn't her usual amazing self but carries off the part of stuck up Anna well.
                        Jude Law lets this cast down if you ask me; he comes across as his real self (in my opinion) smarmy and a bit weak!

                        Overall a great cast though, they work together well and they all have great on-screen chemistry which is important in a film like this!
                        I like the mix of American actresses and English Actors, it works really effectively.


                        Other Info
                        ~~~~~~~~~
                        The soundtrack is pretty good too, the best song being Damien Rice: The Blowers Daughter which is played a few times throughout and seems central to the film.

                        There are no extras on the DVD except the video to 'The Blowers Daughter' which is a shame but the film is good enough to support itself!

                        Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes

                        Rating: 15, some strong sex/nudity references and some VERY rude words!!
                        I think 15 is a bit low as there are some rude bits some may find offensive and the language is pretty bad too at points.

                        Subtitles: Every language imaginable, at least 20 are listed including: Turkish, French, Spanish, German ....




                        One of the most enjoyable films I've ever watched, an original film with the strange script from a play making it stand out, you really do listen to what they're saying!
                        Some people may find it offensive in parts as there are some fairly explicit conversations about sex with not a lot left to the imagination, I don't mind this as it did seem fitting with the film and not just for the sake of it!
                        Clive Owen has some of the best lines and delivers them perfectly.
                        I suppose you could say only watch this if you have a good brain as it is a clever film! I like films that make me think, some people like films where you don't have to, its a personal preference! lol

                        As quoted on the DVD case
                        "Strong, Clever and Stimulating in every sense of the word".

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                          29.08.2008 17:07
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                          Won't be to everyone's taste, but a highly interesting and intriguing film.

                          What is it with the media and some films? They latch onto a single element and then seem unable to see past that to whether a film is any good or not. In Closer's case, there were actually two things they latched onto. The tabloids rather liked the fact that Natalie Portman plays a stripper and spends part of the film parading around in little more than a thong, whilst the "higher brow" sections got rather hung up on the amount of bad language the film contains.

                          Which is a shame because, having finally got around to watching it, Closer deserves better. A complex story of love and relationships, it has a very dark hear and proves to be compulsive viewing.

                          The plot centres around four main characters that constantly fall in and out of love and betray each other in a series of increasingly bewildering and complex relationships. This might sound a little far-fetched and unlikely. It actually works surprisingly well and, of course, as we all know, that's the strange thing about relationships, After all, when you go into a relationship, you never know how it will all turn out, so in this respect, it mirrors real life. The only thing slightly artificial is how these characters meet up in the first place: two characters meet when one is run over (not by the other!), whilst two meet having been set up by someone in an internet porn chat room, of all places! These events just seemed a little too staged, a little too convenient to ring true. But then, I suppose that's part of the film's "message" - you're never quite sure when a seemingly random meeting might turn into something more significant.

                          What is certain, though, is the performance of the actors playing the four key characters. These four hold the entire film together because, a few irrelevant extras aside, we spend the entire film with various combinations of them. Thankfully, most of them turn in an excellent performance, utterly convincing whether ecstatic with joy or hurting and bitter.

                          Closer is clearly Natalie Portman's attempt to distance herself from a galaxy far, far away and she does so with some style. Portman isn't always the greatest actress in the world and can be somewhat stilted and wooden. Here though, she excels, giving Alice a feistiness and independence that belies her vulnerability and need to be loved and looked after. If only she chose more roles like this and stayed away from the debacle that was Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium.

                          Julia Roberts - never really one of my favourite actresses is outstanding as Anna. If you thought she was good in Erin Brokovich, you ain't seen nothing yet. Roberts is happy to play down her "pretty woman" role and her trademark toothy grin is virtually nowhere to be seen. She turns in a powerful performance as a very needy, but quite manipulative woman and once more shows the world she can actually act.

                          Clive Owen (Larry) similarly holds up the quality for the boys. Charming, aggressive, selfish, self-obsessed, fun, nasty - he's a character of contradictions and Owen portrays each and every one of them convincingly - often switching from one to the other in the blink of an eye. I've not always been Owen's greatest fan, but I have to take my hat off to him here. The only one to slightly let the side down is Jude Law as Dan. He looks a bit lost at times, as though he is out of his depth amongst these great performances. It's a competent enough performance, but he doesn't seem able to portray the same depth of emotion that the others reach.

                          What's key, though, is how these characters react and relate each other and here, Closer gets it spot on. Whatever the combination of relationships, whatever the current feelings of the protagonists towards each other, they always look and act like real people and their relationships with each other are wholly convincing.

                          Between these four, the story slowly weaves itself around over a period of years and is never less than gripping. It's not a showy story - there are no major twists or plot turns. It's actually a very simple story about four people and how they get along together. As such, it's instantly recognisable and interesting for us to watch to see how it all pans out. None of the characters are actually that likeable - they are all deeply selfish, needy and self-centred. Yet, because of the superb acting and gripping story, it never impacts on the film in a negative way. On the rare occasions when you think "ooh, I wish he/she would get their comeuppance" something else happens to make you sympathise with them again. It's a clever piece of writing.

                          So, what's not to like about the film? Well, there are two things I can think of - one serious, one not so serious. Let's deal with the not so serious one first. As I mentioned, the film takes place over a number of years, but the timeframe isn't always made clear. Often, one scene slips into another and the only idea you have that a large chunk of time has now passed is when one of the characters refers to the events of the previous scene as having happened months (or even years) ago. It was a little disorientating the first time it happened, but you quickly adjust to it. Some people, though, may find it annoying that there are no "12 months later...." style captions on the screen.

                          The more serious problem relates to the amount of bad language in the film. Think of just about every swear word in the English language that you can think of and it probably appears somewhere in Closer. The script is littered with profanities. Again, personally, I didn't have too much problem with this. For better or worse, this is the way many people speak and Closer strives for realism. Some people though, will undoubtedly find it offensive.

                          Closer won't be to everyone's taste. If you preference is for fluffy, light rom-coms where the whole world lives happily every after, then look elsewhere. Closer's reliance on gritty realism and very human, very fallible characters will leave you cold. If, on the other hand, you're after something that's a bit different, a bit more challenging and a bit more thought-provoking, then give Closer a chance. Just don't choose it as a date movie, that's all.

                          Basic Information
                          -----------------------
                          Closer
                          2004
                          Director: Mike Nichols
                          Running time: 104 minutes
                          Certificate: 15

                          © Copyright SWSt 2008

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                            05.08.2008 17:35
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                            Deception is brutal but what is so great about the truth?

                            Alice a quirky adorable girl, and Dan boring obituary writer, meet and promptly start a relationship which from the outset looks like it might just be a great love story. Then Dan meets Anna, who is not only less attractive than Alice, but also cold and as boring as Dan himself, and the selfish two go about destructing their own lives, and their partners; Dan's Alice, and Anna's partner Larry.

                            Alice is played by Natalie Portman (Beautiful Girls) and is as utterly loveable as you might expect if you have seen Natalie Portman before. Let's start with the fact she's gorgeous so you can't help but want her/want to be her. Then add to that the fact her character is cute, quirky and so easy to identify with and it's hard not too love her. By no means is she perfect, she's flawed and therefore realistic but it is impossible not to fall in love with her, and care about what is happening to her. If you have seen the character's Natalie Portman has played in Beautiful Girls or Garden State (terrible film, great character) then you will have an idea of what you're going to get here, it's along the same lines as her other characters, which perhaps doesn't show much diversity as an actress but she does play this type of girl excellently.

                            Jude Law (Alfie) is played by Dan, and although I don't know much about Jude Law in real life, it felt a bit like he was playing Jude Law. Or Alfie. I.e a hateable love rat. There is nothing redeeming whatsoever about the character of Dan, his actions are unjustifiable and I doubt there are many people who could feel empathy for him at all. As to whether it is acted well, I guess so, as in the play Jude Law actually played Larry, which shows diversity.

                            Anna is played by Julia Roberts (Notting Hill), and is almost the female equivalent of Dan. She's selfish, ungreatful, and choosing to be depressed. She's a very boring character, with again no redeeming characteristics and it's hard to feel anything but distaste for her. I also find it utterly unbelieving that anyone who had Natalie Portman at home, would go out for a bit of Julia Roberts. You know, why have...I don't know...sour milk, when you have champagne on ice at home. I didn't like the character, but I guess Julia played it well.

                            Finally there is Larry played by Clive Owen (Shoot 'Em Up). The character is realistic I guess. He is flawed, I didn't love him, I didn't hate him. I disliked something's he did, I could relate to other things. He was a bit of an "inbetween" character. In another film I'd perhaps dislike him, but next to Anna and Dan he was a breath of fresh air but next to Alice he was just another bad character.

                            As you can tell from the plot outline this is hardly a happy go lucky feel good love film. I also would hesitate to say it's a realistic look at relationships, as I'm not that old and cynical yet and still have some faith and hope left in human kind. That said, watching this film does always worry me and depress me somewhat. The moral of the story is, whether you're a good person or a bad person, you're going to get f***ed over either way, more so if you're the one who hasn't done anything wrong. Great, what a nice life lesson to learn.

                            This film is so utterly depressing that I would not recommend watching it if you feel something might just push you over the edge! For those who've had their hearts trampled all over they might like to watch it and share in the heartbreak and depressing-ness of relationships and re affirm to themselves that all relationships are bad and they're not the only ones to have gone through this. For those in happy relationships, you might find it a little depressing to watch in a "it could be you!" sense.

                            I watched this for the second time last night as it was on the television and something inside me made me put it on. I can't explain what. As I was watching it I said, "I hate this film", and I meant it, and yet I wanted to watch it. Perhaps what I love about the film is Natalie Portman's character, and for some inexplicable reason I sort of like this film, but I do hate it. I hate it. It's so depressing!

                            My boyfriend's reply to my "I hate this film" comment was, "I just don't get it". I was a little confused at what there was not to get but as the film went on, this time he started to ask questions like "see, why's he just said that then when that's not happened?" to my response because it has just happened. The film doesn't actually make clear what is going on off screen. A year can pass without any clear mention of it, which confused him when what he thought was a scene 5 minutes after the one before, was actually a year after, and it was like "what???" as it didn't make sense in that context. After he was pointing these bits out, I did realize how the film could be confusing, and it did do odd little time line things without really making them clear. It could be said the film was more "intellectual" by not spoon feeding you and telling you when and where you were in the story in each scene, but the lack of clarity didn't add to the film in my opinion.

                            If it wasn't for Portman's character I don't think I would watch this film again, she really is a breath of fresh air in it. I don't know other than that what the attraction is that makes me watch this, but there is something there, and yet when I watch it I feel mainly agitated and leave the film feeling utterly depressed. Which is perhaps the idea but isn't my idea of fun. I don't mean this is a tearjerker, oh no, I love it if a film leaves me in floods of tears, I just mean this film could just make you lose faith in human kind completely!

                            The plot itself was fairly simple but I guess quite a rare plot for a film. We have lots of happy ever afters and this definitely was a different take on things. The script itself was pretty good, with mainly Portman's character delivering some great lines, but also some great ones coming from the other characters too.

                            All in all the story wasn't anything groundbreaking but it was something a little different. It was utterly depressing film, that I absolutely hate, and yet know I will watch several times. I can't explain why and there is perhaps the magic.

                            It's a very depressing take on love and relationships and not one I'd recommend watching for a romantic night in but for some reason I would recommend you watching it, but be warned, you'll probably hate it (and yet want to watch it again!)

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                              03.07.2008 15:04
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                              Closer to avoiding relationships full stop?!

                              Please note - this review originally appeared on my ciao page.

                              It was early 2005 and I was bored so decided to go to the cinema and had no idea what to watch. 'Closer' was a film that I did not feel entirely enthused about going to see but I was sure that the star power would see me through it.
                              The film is essentially a tale of four people intertwined by their own confusion as to who it is that they love or lust after.
                              Dan (Jude Law) is a smart journalist (well, obituary writer) who is in a relationship with cute and lovable Alice (Natalie Portman) but has a burning desire for enigmatic photographer Anna (Julia Roberts).
                              Anna is torn between aforementioned Dan and the very much rough and ready doctor Larry (Clive Owen).

                              The pitch sounds cheesy and terrible. Sounds like a typical 'we've got no clue what we are filing but lets stick a load of HUGE stars in it and we've got a guaranteed box office hit' and this is how I feared it would turn out.
                              What seems to keep interweaving the characters and their own respective stories is chance, or coincidence if you prefer.
                              The intervention of these such coincidences manages to keep the film going.

                              The director Mike Nichols (The Graduate), is trying to take a look at modern day relationship and shed some insight perhaps and maybe wave a little artistic wand too.
                              Here is where I change my tune. What I have said so far sounds like a terrible film. Trust me, that is way off the mark.
                              This film is one of the most moving and compelling pieces of cinema that I have seen in a long, long time. Perhaps it is because it strikes a chord and maybe hits a little close to home.
                              The film is littered with infidelity, whether impulsed acted upon or merely implied and you could be forgiven for thinking that this is shallow or soulless, well that is simply incorrect because why would the director of the piece choose to show that all of the potential love in the film turned sour and ultimately betrayal ruined everything that was good.
                              This is an uncompromising looking glass view of modern relationships; And while we all know that there is plenty of faithful, loving relationships out there, we also surely realise that in the modern era of the quick fix, morals are often too freely thrown out of the window.

                              This film was by no means pleasant or comfortable viewing. I felt horrible watching it, but it was the compelling nature of it that enabled me to finish the viewing. It was a beautiful but completely unsettling film that I would urge anyone to watch and give their full attention.
                              The performances of the main stars were all competent, Portman was in particular outstanding in her lost soul role. I did wonder perhaps whether Clive Owen was over-hamming his role a little but who am I to argue!

                              The whole melancholy feel is completely encaspsulated by the soundtrack song 'Blowers Daughter' by Damien Rice. A bittersweet little tune that seems to fit right along with the way the film reaches its conclusion.
                              So look past the seemingly odd premise, look past the bevvy of huge hollywood film stars and settle yourself in for an intellectually stimulating, emotionally testing and cleverly filmed drama. Caution: May leave a bitter taste in the mouth.

                              If you are looking to purchase the film then it is available on play.com for the meagre price of £4.99. Whether this is your type of film or not, at that kind of price then I would expect that you would get good value for money.

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                                03.03.2008 08:53
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                                Not one to watch again.

                                I didn't see Closer at the cinema, but being quite a big fan of both Julia Roberts and Jude Law I was quite keen to get it and watch it on DVD. Having done so, I have to say that it seemed quite a strange film and not overly enjoyable although it does have it's fascinating moments.

                                There are only four characters in the film which in itself seems quite a strange thing. There is no supporting cast of interesting characters to bring lighter moments and relieve the tension - so with just the main four I found it a bit heavy going!
                                A little bit about the story though. Alice, Daniel, Anna and Larry are four strangers who through a series of chance meetings get to know each other and before long, close relationships are formed. I feel that the whole purpose of the film is to take a look at modern day relationships and their trials and tribulations. However, I think that it takes quite a bleak look though, and if all relationships were like these I would seriously wonder why anyone would bother!

                                The film starts when Alice (Natalie Portman) and Daniel (Jude Law) are attracted across a busy street. Momentarily distracted, she is knocked down by a taxi and he takes her to hospital and there starts their love affair! Later Daniel is photographed by Anna (Julia Roberts) and there is an instant attraction there. This ultimately leads to a turbulent affair. Added to the melting pot is Larry (Clive Owen), a doctor, who after a rather torrid internet chat with Daniel who is pretending to be Anna, meets her and there starts another love affair! Does this sound confusing? It definitely is, as throughout the film, the status of these relationships are constantly changing and all become more intertwined with each other to varying degrees.
                                One of the things that made the film quite confusing for me was the way there were big jumps in time for which the viewer needed to very quickly work out what had happened. I don't think that I'm the sort of viewer that wants everything handed to her on a plate, but at the same time a few more links would hve been helpful! All the time I was having to think 'who's he/ she with now?' and 'how much time hs passed now?' This didn't fall favourably with me although I suppose that there are some other viewers who might like that!

                                As I said there were only four characters in the film which also made it hard work. The film was adapted from a stage play though, and I can see because of that why the cast is so small. Most of the characters seemed quite two dimensional to me and to be honest, none of them were very likeable. Because of this, I found that I couldn't care less what happened to any of them! Also becuse of all the jumping forward in time, you felt you missed some key events leading up to certain actions, and because of this, you were never certain of the characters' motivation.
                                I didn't like the way these modern day relationships were portrayed either. It made it seem as though these relationships were all about sex, and none of the characters seemed to experience much love or fun in their lives. There was a lot of obsessive behaviour and also lack of trust. Most of the time the four didn't seem to like each other, but they needed to persue the relationships.

                                There were some interesting camera angles in the film which I thought were quite interesting. One example is a time when Larry meets Alice. She is working as a lap dancer and a lot of their interaction is shown as through the security camera which keeps an eye on what happens!
                                Overall though I didn't really enjoy this film and at the end I was sort of left thinking 'what was all that about?' If there was any deep and meaningful message, I missed it. I also felt with such a promising cast that it didn't live up to its potential. So all in all I felt that this film ws a disappointment and I'm pretty sure I won't be watching it again.

                                Although I watched it on DVD there are not really any additional features to speak of - just the usual screen selections and choice of languages.
                                If I haven't put you off entirely, youmight be interested to know that Closer is currently selling on mazon for only £4.98.

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                                Four extremely beautiful people do extremely horrible things to one another in Closer, Mike Nichols' pungent adaptation of Patrick Marber's play that easily marks the Oscar-winning director's best work in years. Anna (Julia Roberts) is a photographer who specializes in portraits of strangers; Dan (Jude Law) is an obituary writer struggling to become a novelist; Alice (Natalie Portman) is an American stripper freshly arrived in London after a bad relationship; and Larry (Clive Owen) is a dermatologist who finds love under the most unlikely of circumstances. When their paths cross it's a dizzying supernova of emotions, as Nichols and Marber adroitly construct various scenes out of their lives that pair them again and again in various permutations of passion, heartbreak, anger, sadness, vengeance, pleading, deception, and most importantly, brutal honesty. It's only until you're more than halfway through the movie that you'll have to ask yourself exactly why you are watching such a beautifully tragic tale, as Closer is basically the ickiest, grossest, most dysfunctional parts of all your past relationships strung together into one movie. Ultimately, it falls to the four actors to draw you deeper into the story; all succeed relatively, but it's Law and Owen whose characters will cut you to the quick. Law proves that yet again he's most adept at playing charming, amoral bastards with manipulative streaks, and Owen is nothing short of brilliant as the character most turned on by the energy inherent in destructive relationships--whether he's on the giving or receiving end. --Mark Englehart