Seeing these two in Closer, almost ruined the movie for me.
Julia Roberts and Clive Owen co-star in this curveball-throwing thriller as a pair of romantically involved corporate operatives who are entangled in a bitter rivalry between two mammoth pharmaceutical companies. Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson convincingly round out the heavyweight cast as warring big pharma CEOs in this intriguing espionage effort from writer-director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton).
The best way to describe Duplicity, is picture a romantic comedy written and directed by the same guy who made Michael Clayton, and that’s pretty much what it feels like.
The film itself is structured as a film where the viewers themselves have to constantly ask themselves, what is going on? Tony Gilroy, shows effectively shows us flashbacks of these two and their past escapades and having us wonder who’s playing who in this situation.
But not only is that a positive about the film, its also a negative cause Gilroy’s script features way too many twist and turns for the films own good. Its a film that puts its finger on your shoulder, and tells you to keep up. the only problem with that is there is so many crossing, double-crossing, triple-crossing, and so on and so forth crossing, the film starts to get lost, as do us the viewers. It kept on pulling the rug from underneath that just gave up on trying to get up. Also, its hard to actually care too much about espionage corporates with soap companies.
Now take it for granted there are still some good stuff in this film. The screenplay gets a little jumbled when it comes to the story, but its still has some funny witty lines, and shows that Gilroy can actually make funny things. i think the most appeal of this film comes when its just Owen and Roberts because their love story is written so well, it becomes the best thing of the movie.
So basically the one question I was asking this whole movie was, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN JULIA ROBERTS??!??! She has to stop having all these kids and get back into films, cause she is just great in this film. The best thing about her performance too is that, she is a woman now, and that comes out pretty clearly in her performance. Its obvious you can tell that she more vulnerable, and more strong when it comes to her free personality. Clive Owen is playing a slick hustler type like he usually does, but at the same time hes a little bit off kilter, which makes something a little bit more uneven about him and that shows some more promise for future comedies to come, cause it gives him that comic appeal. When these two are on the screen together, its something great to see, and makes all the other stuff going on, seem worthless. I was pretty bummed out how two of the best in our industry, Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti were pushed down to about nothings, with Giamatti getting more screen time. I thought if they were given more screen time, they could have shown a lot more in this film, but they were basically given 10 minutes each on the screen.
Consensus: Duplicity has that romantic comedy appeal with a espionage thriller twist, backed by incredible chemistry from Roberts and Owen, but features way too many twists and turns for the audience to actually keep up with.