Despite the fact that I didn't particularly like any of the four characters, I really liked this movie. Closer tells the story of four people--Alice, Dan, Anna, and Larry--and the complex web of relationships that connect them. It's a movie about love, sex, adultery, passion, honesty, and deceit that could be the same as every other movie about broken relationships out there except that it's done so well. Every scene is so charged, so intense, so full of subtext. In this way it's easy to see the play on which it was based underlying the movie. The acting more than bears out the script. Normally I don't particularly care for Julia Roberts, but this was one of her best performances. Still, the movie was not entirely without its problems. For one thing, long periods of time pass between scenes, which is not immediately apparent, especially in the beginning. And while Natalie Portman continued her recent streak of excellent performances for most of the film, I just didn't believe her as a stripper; she's a little too soft, a little too innocent. She didn't completely commit to that part of the role. Despite these flaws, though, the film as a whole is well worth a look.

Viewed: 12/9/2004 | Released: 12/2/2004 | Score: A

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