January 19, 2005

Closer – Review by Lori Smith

This review was sent by Lori. Can’t disagree with anything here.
On coming out of a screening of Garden State with the night still young, we looked at the board to see if there was anything else on to fill a couple of hours. The decision was unanimous… more Natalie Portman! As was to be expected, she didn’t disappoint in the part of Alice, and neither did the other lead actors fall short (even Julia Roberts was reasonable), but there was still something about this film that I didn’t like. Portman was great as the quirky but loveable Alice; Jude Law endearing as the sweet yet dull Dan; Clive Owen smoldered as the filthy Larry; and Roberts coped well with all but her character’s camera, making Anna an interesting woman but a less believable photographer. If the performances were enjoyable then it really only comes down to one thing: a bad screenplay.

The idea is simple enough – a love quadrangle! – but the story seems cramped by the four main characters and the constantly questioning dialogue is a little stilted and, by the end, a tad irritating. Rather than accepting what’s on the screen, you find yourself thinking “would he really act like that?”, or, “wouldn’t she be more upset”, but perhaps it’s just because Closer’s depiction of love is just different to what we’ve been used to seeing in Hollywood films. It had some good parts, nice realism in places and witty lines, but overall this film just left me feeling disappointed. People’s lives do get messed up by love, however I have seen this articulated far better in other movies. Worth seeing for Portman’s arse and the ‘web chat’ scene, but you’d be better off waiting until it rears its ugly head on terrestrial telly, to be honest.
If you have a review, send it to me and I shall not bite you.