December 10th, 10:39 | :: Closer
Last night was a Night Of Great Girliness, where I hung out with a bunch of the girls from my initial "Welcome To Workplace!" training -- we saw Closer. 6.3 out of 9. (I know, it's been forever since I've written a review. Whatever, I'm lazy.)
It's about sex. Or rather it isn't, it just keeps getting in the way. The movie's about a group of people overwhelmed by a number of unruly emotions (desire, perfection, fear, devotion, acceptance), and all of it is blotted out to the corners of the screen by the sex. Which isn't shown, mind you, it's all very tasteful. It's just that... what good there could have been in the movie was very heavy-handedly pushed into the background, into the faces, the pauses, the rare scraps of dialogue that didn't seem to be purely for shock value. We get to play Juanita and condense a coherent sequence of events and motivations out of the jagged snippets of time, and the shadows flickering over faces while brusque questions and answers are warring centre-screen.
I think I liked it. As I'd predicted, Natalie Portman made the movie for me, although I will say in all fairness that I was surprised and impressed by Julia Roberts. For once she didn't play Julia Roberts' Character. I'm not recommending you all rush out and watch it though. First, even without the need to really be paying attention and looking for what you want to find (just like the characters! oooh! how meta!), it's just a really glaring movie. It's not friendly, although probably not as "edgy" and "uncomfortable" as the director was hoping for. Secondly, it is pretty artsy, and, as one girl last night so aptly put it "needs thinking!" -- not everyone's taste.
Overall, I'd say it's worth renting, if only for the feeling as the movie closes. (I have to interject here to point out my extreme disgruntledness at the other girls all up and ready to go the second the credits started to roll -- take some time to sit and think about the movie while the soundtrack keeps you in the mental space!). The reviews all seem to say that there are no clear "good" or "bad" characters in the movie -- that you don't really side with any one of them over another. Maybe it's just my dislike of Julia Roberts overriding me, but there was no question about whose camp I was in, for the girls. I'll agree that for the guys it was a little harder to make up my mind, though. I enjoyed that aspect of it tremendously. Still, though, if you're going to watch it, see it for Natalie Portman : she's stellar.
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