Closer (2004)

Jesus these people all need to get a room!

Director Mike Nichols exposes the ugly core hiding behind the slick veneer of four beautiful people and their tangled personal relationships in this drama based on the hit Broadway play. A photographer (Julia Roberts) seems content with her boyfriend (Clive Owen), and a romantic (Jude Law) adores his quirky beloved (Natalie Portman). But when two of them embark on an illicit affair, a cascade of betrayal ensues.

This film is a lot of vicious and sadistic romantic themes all rolled up into one movie. People are constantly cheating on each other left and right, and you have no idea who’s with who, who did what, and most of all how long has this been going on.

The one thing I liked about this film is that from the beginning you think you can point out who the bad guys are and who the good guys are right away, when really their all bad. They all each have these sexual desires that end up messing the other person’s life over. They always constantly talk about telling the truth and being honest with each other, when all they do is lie to each other.

However, the movie seems to suffer from a kind of narcolepsy. In certain cuts, you are fast forward in time and at first you’re unsure if you’ve gone forward of backwards. Luckily after the second such cut you realize the movie is progressive with no flash backs. Thus everything is within context with the previous scene.

Also, there are times when you do feel a bit like this film is staged, probably because it was based on a play. But, some times I felt like the scenes were honestly not genuine and since they were all about talking I didn’t feel like they did much other than that.

I will say one thing that the screenplay is very well-written. Wanting to know positions, acts, and thoughts during that act of sexual coupling – of which there are no visuals, it’s all in the dialogue. This is some brutally honest dialogue that’s all about deceit, sex, and most of all being true to one another.

The screenplay would be nothing without its great performances from its actors. I liked a lot of people in the cast but mostly Clive Owen, who does one of the best darker roles hes ever played. Honestly, he is so hell-bent on his love with Roberts that he will stop at nothing to get her back.  There is a point where Natalie Portman seems to pick up some of Julia Robert’s acting quirks, but this might be similar styles or synergy of the two actresses – It’s just such a joy to see her act again after her impression of a robot in Star Wars movies.

But in the end you feel dismantled by the fact that these people never should be in a relationship if they can control their impulses. And then you realize that these impulses are not only theirs but yours “you just haven’t acted on them – yet”.

Consensus: Closer at times feels too staged and a bit confusing, but has some brutally honest dialogue all about love and deciet, that would be nothing without the superb performances from its cast.



  1. The intensity is so overbearing, but it’s also what makes this film stand above the rest in the genre in my opinion. The performances are fearless and brutal, and even if there is really not much of a story, the actors make it worth seeing.

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