Sunday, December 05, 2004

A fist in blood.

I saw Closer and liked it quite a bit. I'm a sucker for stage-y chamber pieces where the characters are hyper-articulate and are forever launching into bold, declarative speeches. It worked for me. Some more random thoughts:
  • I forget that I like Julia Roberts. I find myself annoyed by her offscreen persona and was startled, like Josh, to watch her deliver a compelling performance. Now, that said, during the course of the movie it became painfully obvious that Clive Owen and Natalie Portman are in another stratosphere and Jude and Julia are just along for the ride. What is it with Jude? I like him, I think he's a fine actor and I think he picks really interesting work... but the dude is not on his A-game. Maybe it's that he's been in, like, 50 things this year and the sheer volume of work wore him down. Or something. But dude is off and is in desperate need of getting "it" back.

  • Did I mention Nat Nat and Clive rule? I can now officially forgive Clive for his part in the debacle that is King Arthur (which, despite Vincent Gallo's noble effort, tops my worst of the year list)--the guy is propulsive. That's the word that got stuck in my head watching him. He just go-go-goes with this careening, reckless energy. It's not hambone, '90s-Al-Pacino acting, it's fearless, go-for-broke acting and it's excllent.
    And Nat Nat. Besides being painfully, impossibly gorgeous, she delivers on her early promise. Remember when she was that girl who showed such promise in Heat and Beautiful Girls? Then she got lost along the way, making shlock about getting knocked up at Wal-Mart and getting caught up in George Lucas' computer. Our little girl is all growed up and she's here to knock your f-ing socks off. She's got a lot of the BIG DRAMATIC scenes (that are ace-- don't get me wrong), but what I really relished were all of Nat's little facial expressions that are so natural and so right.

  • Memo to Mike Nichols: fire the music supervisor. I'll admit, I despise Damien Rice and his wuss-folk-shite. It's a personal thing. So I cringed when his shitty "The Blower's Daughter" (yup, that's what that song is called) played over the opening credits and through the first sequence. But I started cringing even harder when Mike took it to an extremely literal place, where Damian is moaning "I caaaan't taaaaaake my eeeeeeyes offa you" and Nat and Jude are locking eyes, etc. Or how about when Owen and Julia get in a heated fight and Owen nearly wallops Julia. Cut to Owen entering a club where Prodigy's "Smack My Bitch Up" blasts. And on and on. It's ridiculously literal and silly.

  • I'm backing up Dave Edekstein and his love of listening to A-listers talk dirty. It's refreshing about watching a big Hollywood picture with a bunch of people who regularly appear on Oprah and spew psycho-babble in People bluntly talk about sex the way real people talk about sex.


At 11:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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