Upated on: January 15, 2005

"Thank God life ends. We'd never survive it!" Thus the doctor [Larry, Clive Owen] in Patrick Marber's wonderful comedy of sex and modern manners.

From Dark Horizons: "...And Owen is also part of the star-studded cast of Mike Nichols' Closer, an experience Owen is understandably relishing. "I think I said to Mike halfway through the movie: If I just keep doing this for the rest of my career that would make me happy."

Release date USA - December 3, 2004
UK - January 14, 2005

View the Sony Pictures trailer HERE

Reviews at Movie Query Engine

Larry - Clive Owen
Dan - Jude Law (brilliance.nu)

Alice - Natalie Portman
Anna - Julia Roberts
Directed by
Mike Nichols


Closer Reviews:

Rotten Tomatoes Closer Page with many review links

The New Yorker review

The Trades: Closer" Review by Beth Gottfried

Film Stew: "...Owen plays many delightful, unpredictable notes as Larry, making him as playful and charming as he is sinister and brutish; he offers the kind of effortless intricacy that great screen acting is all about."

AO Scott in the NY Times: "...This places an enormous burden on the actors, who must in effect forge personalities out of thin air and vague language. The only one who succeeds is Mr. Owen, whose volcanic charisma is hedged - and to some extent subverted - by a flash of rugged wit."

The St. Louis Post- Dispatch: "This could be the breakthrough role for Owen, whose brooding sex appeal has never been more palpable. With seeming effortlessness, he dominates each of his scenes, bringing to Larry a unique blend of vulnerability and volatility."

Rex Reed in The NY Observer

The Trades Review - Jim Pappas: "...Larry is the sexaholic doctor, almost a cariacture who, in the end, stands out as the one person with the best understanding of what love is really all about, and I would like to add that Clive Owen steals this film with his performance."

The East Bay Express: Closer to Fine - Urban savages wage war over sex in Mike Nichols' dreadfully funny new film.

NY Press review: "...Nichols underscores it with the Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?"

The Seattle Weekly - Closer: "...Only Owen, having barely escaped from King Arthur with crown intact, suggests better things. His unhygienic dermatologist relishes nasty sex and pornographic chat rooms; Larry falls for, then betrays, Anna with the same insouciance that asks, "Were you seriously expecting anything else?" While the others look so wounded, only he appears to understand that getting hurt is a given in affairs. (It helps, perhaps, that Owen has the perspective of having played easily bruised Dan in the original stage production.)"

The Village Voice Review of Closer: "...Owen, who played Dan in a London production, stalks through the movie with a permanent leer. It's a masterfully sleazy performance: In the showpiece meltdown, Larry badgers Anna into spilling graphic details about her affair with Dan, and uses her coerced confession to validate the force of his vicious rejoinder. (Even his incidental insults are inventively destructive, as when he spits at Dan: "You writer!")"


Time Magazine 11/21/04

11/24 - The Hollywood Reporter - Martin Grove: Closer awards race likely with 'Closer'

Newsweek's review: The Course of True Love, From Chat Room to Bedroom

Warning - Spoiler if you haven't read the play or seen the film --- Just a bit of comparison between the play and the film: In the play Alice dies, and Larry and Anna separate. Larry ends up with Polly, a nurse from his office.

NY Times 12/31 - CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK - First-Rate Acting in Secondary Roles - By STEPHEN HOLDEN: "The testosterone injections are especially apparent this season in some of the year's finest supporting performances by actors. Thomas Haden Church as a roguish, going-to-seed charmer in "Sideways" and Clive Owen as a swashbuckling British dermatologist with a pornographic imagination in "Closer" are men we all recognize but have seldom seen illuminated with such clarity....Mr. Owen's Larry in "Closer" regards women with the same predatory lust once projected by Clark Gable, whose air of sexual confidence earned him the nickname the King. But instead of the leer and the raised eyebrow that signaled Gable's intentions, Larry looks at women with a penetrating, animalistic glare that drills through their clothes. There are disquieting hints of violence in Larry's face and bark. Even while acting courtly, this Sexy Beast sizes up women as pieces of raw meat." (To read the whole article - free subscription required, and recommended as the awards season heats up)

12/15/04 - Pride Unprejudiced on Mike Nichols and Closer: "...So, as we were getting ready to shoot, I said, 'Well, why don't you, instead of that, Julia, why don't you just go upstairs and get your coat and leave, rather than tell him these things. And you, Clive, why don't you chase her? And force her?' He has to force her to say those things, because he wants to be free. He wants the wound cauterized. He says… He says, 'Thank you. Thank you for your honesty. Now fuck off and die.' [laughs] He has goaded her until she said unsayable things, the things that you never want to say, and God knows you never want to hear, so that he could go on. And not only does he goad her until she has to do it, but it works. He gets through and he forms his plan, and then he puts his plan into effect, and then his plan succeeds, and he bests the other guy, and does him severe harm, forever, and then he gets his girl back. So, that's the plot. But in order for them to get there… it's more a question of finding out how and under what circumstances."

Closer and Clive nominated for the Golden Globes! - Natalie also for best supporting. (12/13/04)

Clive nominated for best supporting actor by the International Press Association. Ceremony January 23rd in Beverly Hills (List of nominees here) Also nominated -- Natalie Portman, Actress in a Supporting Role, Drama. Patrick Marber for Best Screenplay, Adapted. John Bloom and Antonia Van Drimmelen for film editing. Thanks, Jinete at the Murphsplace Forum

Film Historian David Thompson in the Independent on Closer and Julia Roberts - "...Clive Owen, in probably the hardest or most vulnerable part, is so good that I would immediately mount a season of Pinter plays with him in the leads."

The London Free Press - Closer Closeups

Listen to a Closer review by David Edelstein of Slate. (With a scene including Clive and Roberts in it)

Box Office Prophets: Closer - Academy Award-winning director Mike Nichols returns with this critically divisive film that feels awfully similar in tone to his previous film, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Closer was banking on its gorgeous cast, including Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Jude Law and Clive Owen to carry it to some degree of success with a moderate opening on 476 screens. The film was able to do just fine in its limited debut on opening day, taking in $2.8 million. Since it (obviously) skews adult, Closer should see a Friday-to-Sunday multiplier in excess of 3.0 - probably in the 3.2 range. That would give the Sony film a three-day total of $9 million and a smashing per screen average.

Murph's review of Closer - No A+ from her!

Fans who saw Closer are posting their comments at the Murphsplace Forum. Join in if you have seen the film.

Press kit large pictures thanks to Leyla

Playbill on Closer

I have begun a film journal at Rotten Tomatoes. You can rate Closer there and add your comments. More films will be added.

Film Stew: Marber's Morally Ambiguous World -- British playwright Patrick Marber has not necessarily lived out all the drama that careens across Closer. But he might have said some of it, and had some of it said to him.

straight.com: Director Mike Nichols Acquired His Taste For Male-Female Relationships In A Former Life As A Standup Guy - Thanks, Jannie [ed note: For we older folk, Mike and Elaine's comedy routines were the smartest and the funniest in the late1950s]

Dave Poland's Oscar predictions: Best supporting -- "Clive Owen - Closer - He is the Renee Zellweger of Closer"

12/2/04 - New fan review from a preview last night HERE.

InStyle: "Chic Preview: Like film school for your closet and makeup bag: Closer. The tagline for this film is: "If you believe in love at first sight, you never stop looking." With a cast and costumes this tempting, why would you? Closer follows two Americans (Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman) in London, their primary relationships (with Clive Owen and Jude Law, respectively) and, when one handsome Brit just isn't enough for Roberts's character, how infidelity affects all four. "It's a funny movie-and then it isn't," says director Mike Nichols. And of Closer's gorgeously moody minimalism? "It's not austere. It's just simple." - Thanks, veebs

Seattle Post - Intelligencer: First Award - The National Board of Review: The cast of "Closer" - Jude Law, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen and Natalie Portman - were honored for best acting by an ensemble.... The group's top 10, in order: "Finding Neverland," "The Aviator," "Closer," "Million Dollar Baby," "Sideways," "Kinsey," "Vera Drake," "Ray," "Collateral" and "Hotel Rwanda."

The Black Table web site - Racy but funny reaction to Natalie Portman

Steph has posted several "For Your Consideration" Oscar ads for Closer at the Murphsplace Forum

About.com: Clive Owen on "Closer" the Movie vs. "Closer" the Play and the James Bond Rumors - Thanks, Doro, Steph, Jannie

Some video on Closer at E! online - Click on "Top 5 videos of the week." Thanks, maddie

There is a 3rd TV Spot HERE. Thanks, Maddie

U-Daily Bulletin: Clive on his character and what he likes. Scroll a bit. Thanks, Maddie

MSNBC: The four actors have rarely been better, though Owen, who played Dan in the original London stage production, stands out in what may be the best-written role. Larry is especially adept at check-mating Dan and out-guessing Anna, and Owen rules the screen whenever Larry’s on top. Thanks, veebs

The Washington Post 11/28 -- On the Topic of Adultery, Nichols's Affairs Are in Order. Thanks, LNG71

The Chicago Sun Times - Nichols

Boston.com - Mike Nichols. Thanks, Doro

The NY Post on Closer - Comments by Clive - "The most striking thing about it," observes Clive Owen, "is if you're a guy or a girl of a certain age, with any sort of emotional history, you've been through some of those scenes - and maybe it's shocking and upsetting because you do, but you also don't, really want to go to those places." Owen, however, didn't have these doubts, as he joined the film after performing the play in London stage where he played not Larry but Dan, Jude Law's role." - Thanks, Doro

Philly.com - Mike Nichols. Thanks, Doro

11/28/04 - NY Times has an article on Mike Nichols and Closer by A O Scott

AZ Central: A closer look at 'Closer' - Entertainment News Wire: Clive -- "I was terribly excited. Of course, playing a part in the play, I knew it so well. The big advantage is that I've seen the piece and I've acted in it as well. I've seen the way the play works. Whenever you play a part you see everything through that character's perception and the way it flows. For a film, suddenly you've got to look at the piece and the people in the piece from different angles. I was delighted to be involved because it is a fantastic part." - Thanks, cinecing

New Closer Film Clips at IFilm. (Clive is in "The Aquarium" and "Everyone Wants to be happy." - Thanks, maddy at the Murphsplace Forum

The Murphsplace Forum: High Res pics at the LA premiere, thanks to Anna and Pingu at gerardbutler.net

11/25 - Dave Poland at his Hot Button didn't like Closer. Scroll. Thanks, Zhora

Wire Images from the LA Premiere 11/22

Damien Rice is scheduled to be a guest on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno on Friday, December 3. - Thanks, Far Far Away/Closer fan site

Two Closer fan sites: Hello-Stranger and Far Far Away - Thanks, Grace

ScreenDaily on Closer: "...Owen (who played Law's character Dan in the original London stage production of Closer) has the juiciest part by far and he takes the opportunity to give a scarily intense performance, one that could give the film its best shot at award recognition. His head to head scene with Law is among the film's highlights and actually produce more sparks than most of the scenes between the story's various permutations of lovers." Thanks, Steph

11/17 - A Closer review by a 15 year old at JoBlo.com - He liked Clive. Has KA and Alexander mixed up. Thanks, Da Yepper

11/16 - Great review in the Rolling Stone for Closer. - "...Owen gives the role a raw intensity that is absolutely riveting. And he meets his match in Portman, who digs so deep into the bruised core of her character that they seem to wear the same skin."

11/15 - Closer Review at AICN: "Larry. Clive Owen delivers the standout performance of the film" Thaks to leyla

The Chicago Sun Times: Hollywood throwing a holiday soiree - BY CINDY PEARLMAN -- "CLOSER" Save the date: Dec. 3 The invite: Call it "dating styles of the good looking and shameless." It seems that young waif Natalie Portman is deeply in love with caddish Jude Law, but he's cheating on her with serial cheater Julia Roberts, who is a pretty duplicitous woman. She two-times Jude with Clive Owen. Director Mike Nichols proves love is the ultimate four-letter word. An affair to remember? This is pegged as the movie that finally, after all those years and Bond rumors, will make Owen a superstar. Pre-party gossip: For once in Hollywood, Roberts wasn't the first one to get the call for her role. Cate Blanchett was cast, but she became pregnant and dropped out. Of course, Roberts is now pregnant with twins so maybe there was something in the water on this set. Meanwhile, over in the guy's corner, "Alfie" himself Jude Law is back exploring sexual politics. "Alfie and this film complimented each other," Law says. "It's funny how they kind of fit together, yet they're two different styles of analyzing a similar territory." Thanks cinecing

Variety's page for Closer

11/7/04 - Updated Closer official site from Sony. With images, synopsis and other good things. Also Damien Rice's whole rendition of "And So It Is." Click on bottom right when you enter the site. Thanks, Doro (Plus two new snaps from the site)

EW Magazine 11/12 - Thanks to LNG71

Bravo in the USA will air the "Making of Closer" on December 2 at 2:30 in the afternoon. Also December 4 and 5 at 11 AM. Set your VCRs - Thanks, Ing71 from the forum

FRom Ing -- "CLOSER: The pedigree on this high-profile chamber piece couldn't be cleaner: Patrick Marber's loudly hosanna-ed play, directed by Mike Nichols, starring uber-femme Julia Roberts, blue-eyed demigod Jude Law, America's sweetheart Natalie Portman and newly hot Brit brooder Clive Owen. Some years, the Academy gets thrown a softball, and this is prickly, heavybreathing drama -- about two couples whose lives being to fray and ignite once an affair crosses their boundaries -- would appear to be an easy lob for everyone concerned. Still, scoring a satisfying movie experience with a four-character dramatic face-off isn't easy. It all may well depend on the play -- is it enough of a mesmerizing housefire? - From October 2004 issue of Movieline's Hollywood Life (page 113)"

From Entertainment Weekly, November 5, 2004 - A special advance screening. Click HERE to see the scan. And HERE to enter. Thanks to clemato at the Murphsplace forum.

Related: "I wondered if you'd like to inform your readers in the Closer section (and the main Clive section!) about our production of Closer. It'll be staged in London, on 3, 4, 5 and 6 November 2004 @ 7.45pm, as part of the Wandsworth Arts Festival. Venue: Putney Arts Theatre, Ravenna Road, Putney, London SW15 6AW Tickets: £9. Group booking rates available. Bookings: +44 (0)20 8871 8711 Reservations: www.chelsea-players.org.uk/reserve.htm"

From Ann Mary: "I was just checking out your site on the new Sony Pictures film "Closer," and I wanted to let you know of one error I found. The song that plays at the very beginning of the Sony trailer is actually a clip from "The Blower's Daughter" by Damien Rice, not Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio as you have it. The lyrics for the Damien Rice version are available HERE. I fell in love with the song the first time I saw the trailer, and it took me quite a bit of digging to figure out what it was. Thanks - Ann Mary"

The poster for the film - Thanks to Steph

10/18/04 - A bit of news on the Closer score

New York Metro -- Fall 2004 Preview - Mr. Nichols and the Vicious Circle: Mike Nichols brings pretty people to ugly ends in his screen adaptation of the hit play Closer.

Newsweek - 8/30 Issue: Coming Attractions (Closer) - A sneak peek ahead: Meet the people behind some of the fall's big offerings. First, a film whose characters destroy each other—and whose cast adores each other

8/17 - Playbill: Closer Film Trailer with Roberts, Owen, Law, Portman Hits Movie Theatres and Web - Click here for the trailer and the official site

A review of Closer at filmbrats.com by Joe Swanberg. Thanks, Amy

Another fan review from AICN. Nice words for Clive - Thanks to Laura and OC

Fan review of Closer at AICN - Thanks, BaciaDolce

IGN Film Force: Natalie Portman on Mike Nichols -- "...After Garden State, Portman will be seen in Mike Nichols' Closer in December, which is filled with a small cast of unknowns. "It's coming out December 2nd, and it's with Clive Owen and Jude Law and Julia Roberts. And we just play four individuals who have very complex relationships..." Portman previously worked with Nichols in a play and says that he is much more than just another director to her: "Mike is, well, I've known him for like six years now. We did The Seagull together a few years ago in Central Park. And it's just so amazing to work with someone who's, I mean, he's like one of my best friends. And he's literally, like I have a problem with a boyfriend or a friend or life or decisions or what movie to do, or where to go on vacation, he's the one I go to running. He's my best friend, he's my mentor, he's like a father. He's like the father I can talk to about boys because he's not actually my father. He's just wonderful... Working with someone I know that well was really freeing too because I just trusted him so much that I was like, 'I'll do anything.' And I just know that he has me in his best interests and I have him in my best interests and so I'm willing to give him anything because I know that he'll make it okay."

From an IMdb message board for Closer. A fan saw a preview performance -- "I just got out of the very first screening of CLOSER, and all I have to say is that the film is all you'd expect it to be and then some. Almost every single scene builds to astounding crescendos. "Jude Law is good, but Clive Owen is the big scene-stealer. He steals every one he's in. The range he shows when he breaks up with Anna (Roberts' role)is amazing. Another scene he has with Portman in a strip club is just pitch perfect in the way he plays it. "This film, more than CROUPIER or the upcoming KING ARTHUR, shows that Clive is really the Next Big Thing."

View the Sony Pictures trailer HERE - Some snaps from the trailer HERE

(Downloaded trailer from Sony Pictures HERE on site)

7/11/04 - The Observer UK interview: The player - "He may have the sharp-eyed ambiguity of Alain Delon, the battle-grooved face of Vinnie Jones and the calm precision of Michael Caine, but how did a working-class Coventry lad land the lead in this summer's $100m King Arthur epic? Gaby Wood hears how Clive Owen's role in a small-scale British gambling film raised his stakes in Hollywood" Thanks, Gill

6/4/04 - At Movie Poop Shoot - A great fan review of Closer. Thanks, Mick

5/17/04 - Financial Times - Story on Playright Patrick Marber -- "...And Mike Nichols has just completed shooting on Marber's screenplay of Closer starring Jude Law, Clive Owen, Natalie Portman and Julia Roberts. So is he bowing to the cynical wisdom that theatre is for beginners but movies are the real deal?"

4/21/04 - Jeffrey Wells at Movie Poop Shoot on Closer: Places in the Heart -- "You're going to want to see Mike Nichols' CLOSER, trust me. I know because I've finally read the play it's based upon, and because it's been made clear that the film will pretty much be the play....thank the stars."

Image from Movie Poop Shoot

Mike Nichols Bio

3/1 - From Film Jerk -- Previews for 2004: Closer: Based on the play by Patrick Marber, "Closer" has one of the more impressive Oscar pedigrees of 2004, including five time nominated producer/director Mike Nichols (winner for "The Graduate"), producer Scott Rudin (whose films include "The Truman Show" and "The Hours"), Julia Roberts and Jude Law. Clive Owen and Natalie Portman co-star in this drama about love, passion and betrayal between two couples, which Sony currently plans to open on December 3. Additional potential nominations: Director (Nichols), Actor (Law), Actress (Roberts), Supporting Actor (Owen), Supporting Actress (Portman), Adapted Screenplay (Marber).

2/18 - From Z Review -- Clive and Julia Roberts filming Closer in London

2/17/04 - Article in the UK Mirror on filming Closer, thanks to Chris

2/11/04 - Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere on his Oscar Prediction Balloon for 2004: BEST PICTURE: Alexander (Warner Bros.); The Aviator (Warner Bros.); Closer (Columbia); I Heart Huckabee's (Fox Searchlight); J.M. Barrie's Neverland (Miramax); Spanglish (Columbia); An Unfinished Life (Miramax); Troy (Warner Bros.); The Brothers Grimm (MGM/Dimension); Saraband (Sony Classics). (9) BEST DIRECTOR: Oliver Stone (Alexander); Martin Scorsese ( The Aviator); Mike Nichols (Closer); David O. Russell (I Heart Huckabee's); Marc Forster (J.M. Barrie's Neverland); James L. Brooks (Spanglish); Lasse Hallstrom (An Unfinished Life); Wolfgang Petersen (Troy); Terry Gilliam (The Brothers Grimm); Pedro Almodovar (Bad Behavior), Ingmar Bergman (Saraband). --- BEST ACTOR: Tom Hanks (The Terminal); Jude Law (Spanglish); Russell Crowe (Cinderella Man); Daniel Day Lewis (Rosa and the Snake); Leonardo DiCaprio (The Aviator); Anthony Hopkins (Proof); Morgan Freeman (Freedomland); Clive Owen (Closer); Liam Neeson (Kinsey).

2/2/04 - Thanks to Bea -- Variety: Getting 'Closer' - Oscar nomination day found Jude Law fresh from the Golden Globes ceremony not 48 hours before and back at north London's Elstree on the set of the movie version of Patrick Marber's play "Closer." Director Mike Nichols' latest film -- currently on a nine-week shoot through March 10 -- has to rank as the most eagerly awaited stage-to-screen transplant since, well, Nichols' "Angels in America." So, while keen to discuss Oscar's snubs of "Cold Mountain" -- "If (fellow nominee) Renee (Zellweger) and I are the last few standing" to rep the film at the Academy Awards, said Law, "so be it: we will carry that flag proudly" -- the actor took a minute to look forward as well as back. After all, it's not every day that you inherit a stage role for a film when the creator of that part is in the same film, playing someone else. That's the case with "Closer," which finds Law playing Dan, while the National Theater's original Dan, Clive Owen, has moved up to the bruising part of Larry, first taken by Ciaran Hinds. Law sounds in no way fazed by the scenario: "There's such a sense of Everyman in all these roles that Clive passing through Dan and getting to Larry seems like a natural evolution: These are men in different stages of their lives." What's more, deadpans Law, "I look at myself in the mirror and feel like I look like Clive did then, anyway." Auds can decide for themselves when "Closer" comes out at the end of the year, in time for next year's Oscar race. (Incidentally, anyone wondering whether "Closer's" distaff leads, Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman, play British in the movie, in keeping with Marber's play: Nope.)

12/17/03 - Rush and Molloy: "Julia Roberts' cinematographer husband, Danny Moder, has been working in the Hamptons on "The Forgotten," starring Julianne Moore and Alfre Woodard. Roberts, whose "Mona Lisa Smile" opens Friday, has been in rehearsals with Natalie Portman, Jude Law and Clive Owen on the movie version of Phil Marber's play "Closer" ..."

An excerpt from a May 23 interview with Patrick Marber in The Scotsman - Thanks to Chris T.

Blanchett, Owen Get 'Closer' With Mike Nichols

Movies.go.com information

Read the reviews of the stage version with Clive as Dan (He will be Larry, the doctor, in the film version)

IMdb Page

Closer discussion at the Murphsplace Forum

Buy the screenplay at Amazon: Closer by Patrick Marber

Vanity Fair on the play: The most uproarious comedy set piece in Closer comes when Larry and Dan plunk down in front of their computers at separate sides of the stage and engage in anonymous cyberchat. As a prank, Dan pretends to be female ("30's dark hair big mouth epic tits"), feeding Larry the kind of raunch he knows a horny man wants to hear, being a horny man himself. As their words are projected onto a large screen, misspellings and all ..., the pace quickens, Larry unable to believe his luck at finding a cyberslut so fast. After Dan fakes cyberorgasm, posting a frazzled string of gibberish, Larry asks, "RU4 real?"

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