DVD Reviews | Apr 5th, 2005

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Starring Clive Owen, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts
Written By: Patrick Marber
Directed By: Mike Nichols
Studio: Columbia Pictures
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Definitely not what you call a love story, this Academy Award nominated movie was one of the best in 2004, a slightly different take on romance can prove to be a hit with critics. Closer is filled with drama, humor, passion and even some love. The film is stacked up with stars and they show their quality in this Mike Nichols (Angel in America) directed film.

The story kicks off with Natalie Portman getting hit by a bus. Yeah, what a crappy way to start a movie, I know. No need worrying, she survives the accident. There, she meets Jude Law’s character Dan, a struggling novelist who works at a newspaper writing obituaries. Not Shakespeare, but enough for him to work on his own work on the side. Jump to the next scene, and Dan is visiting Anna (Julia Roberts) a photographer, who is shooting Dan for the back cover of his new Novel, The Aquarium. Of course, Jude Law and those pesky blue eyes draw Anna toward him. Or maybe, he’s just a nymphomaniac. Who knows? He jumps at Anna and they embrace. Alice (Portman), then shows up to see her boyfriend Dan and she meets Anna, who wants to take photos of Alice as well. Alice is unaware of what just happened, which makes future scenes more intense and dramatic. As the film continues, so does the time gap, as the story progresses rather quickly. The next scene introduces Clive Owen as Larry, an orthodontist, who is chatting it up online at work. Little does Larry know, Dan is on the other end, instead of what he hoped to be a young lady.

These scenes provide some of the more humorous parts to the story because it gets a bit dramatic later on. Dan really leads Larry on, and even gets Larry to show up the next day, at what a coincidence, an aquarium. At the aquarium, he meets Anna (Roberts). Larry thinks he is meeting who he spoke with, and proves to be the butt of a big joke from Dan. Anna finds all this rather amusing and continues to spend the day with Larry. They hit it off and boom, a few years later now already, they are married. I guess that whole time period wasn’t interesting to show. After all the set ups of the characters, they start to reveal to each other their dirty deeds. You can’t call it a love triangle because all four main characters are involved, so it’s more like a love rectangle. Actually love shouldn’t be used as a term at all, because these people don’t understand the meaning of love. Just lust, revenge, and passion, not love though. I think Clive Owen is excellent as Larry, because he’s the most interesting person in the movie. He’s a wealthy doctor, who is a bit kinky for sexual misadventures. He also has this dry wit and sarcasm that makes him the most appealing. I love it when he knows Anna (Roberts) is up to something, after he returns home from a business trip. She gives off this vibe that we are all aware of, and he goes right for it and asks. A huge fight breaks out, with the truth about one another finally revealed. The scene is extremely uncomfortable for the viewer, but one hell of a scene. The story finishes up with all the characters fighting with and for each other, and it’s a big mess.

I would devote this next section to the extras, but this was rather miniscule, with only a music video and trailers for special features. I was hoping for more special features, but this was all that was included. They could have had bloopers, deleted scenes, a “making of” documentary, which could include cast interviews, and a talk with Mike Nichols regarding the story and adaptation of the book. Hopefully, a better “special edition” version will come out soon.

I was really impressed with the actors in this film. Closer is about testing one’s self with temptation of another, and while none of the people in this film passed the test, it makes the film more realistic as far as relationships go. It doesn’t end up in the typical Hollywood fashion, where everyone is happy. Larry and Anna are miserable, along with Dan. Alice/Jane on the other hand, seems to be the better person by getting out of the situation all together and returning home. As far as the acting goes, Clive Owen stood out as the best character and Natalie Portman in second. Owen actually was in the British stage version of Closer, and played the part Jude Law portrays in the film. It’s interesting that he can master both characters. Closer was entertaining and was a little too close to home for me and I bet for many others.

-“The Blower’s Daughter” Music Video

-ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
-ENGLISH: Dolby Digital Surround CC

– Widescreen 1.85:1 Color (Anamorphic)

English, French

Favorite Scenes: Natalie Portmans little dance for Clive Owen, Internet Chat, Clive and Julia reveal the truth to each other. Payback for Larry against Dan
Rating: R
Running Time: 104 minutes
Extras Rating:
Overall Rating: