E W S
Tomatoes Closer Page with many review links
New Yorker review
The Trades: Closer"
Review by Beth Gottfried
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."
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
Reed in The NY Observer
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.
Press review: "...Nichols underscores it with the
Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?"
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
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!")"
- 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."
and Clive nominated for the Golden Globes! - Natalie
also for best supporting. (12/13/04)
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
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
to a Closer review by David Edelstein of Slate. (With a scene
including Clive and Roberts in it)
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!
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
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
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]
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
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
has posted several "For Your Consideration" Oscar ads
for Closer at the Murphsplace Forum
Owen on "Closer" the Movie vs. "Closer" the
Play and the James Bond Rumors - Thanks, Doro, Steph, Jannie
video on Closer at E! online - Click on "Top 5 videos of
the week." Thanks, maddie
There is a 3rd TV Spot HERE.
U-Daily Bulletin: Clive
on his character and what he likes. Scroll a bit. Thanks, Maddie
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,
The Chicago Sun Times - Nichols
Boston.com - Mike
Nichols. Thanks, Doro
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,
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
Closer Film Clips at IFilm. (Clive is in "The Aquarium"
and "Everyone Wants to be happy." - Thanks, maddy at the
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,
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
Far Away - Thanks, Grace
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,
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
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
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
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
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
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.
- 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
review of Closer at filmbrats.com by Joe Swanberg. Thanks, Amy
fan review from AICN. Nice words for Clive - Thanks to Laura
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."
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."
the Sony Pictures trailer HERE - Some snaps from
the trailer HERE
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:
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
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
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
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" ..."
from a May 23 interview with Patrick Marber in The Scotsman -
Thanks to Chris T.
Owen Get 'Closer' With Mike Nichols
Read the reviews of the stage
version with Clive as Dan (He will be Larry, the doctor, in
the film version)