Thursday, July 10, 2008

"I don't kiss strange men"

16 comments:

filmfan said...

Oh she was so brilliant in Closer... great performances from Law, Portman and Owen, but Roberts was just as we've never seen her before. Very underrated, amazing performance, her best with "Erin Brockovich".

Brodie said...

Am I alone in thinking she completely shat all over Portman and Law?

NATHANIEL R said...

that depends on what you mean by 'shat all over' (ewww) like ruined them with her stinkiness or made them look stinky? ;)

I think all four were terrif in that movie. but i love this particular scene more and more

Transvestitia Transvestitenstein said...

she looked so ugly in her eyes!
great performance!

Derek said...

How did this performance get NOTHING? It's a total transformation. I love her in Erin Brockovich, but it is Julia Roberts doing her thing. This is the first time I saw her completey embody the character. What gets me is the look she gives Owen after she says "I'm disgusting." Cheeks puffy and red, you can SEE the shame inside of her. It's a remarkable performance.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the problem was the performance (a really good one), but the character. I HATED her, and that's saying something for a piece like CLOSER where everyone's pretty dispicable. A bitch with no bite and stupid. Oh, she annoyed me. And no matter how good Roberts or Law may have been, I don't think there's a better (or more buzzed about) scene in the movie than the one in the strip club with Owen and Portman. "Thank you."

-Val

Hayden said...

I have such strong opinions about the cast of Closer, particularly when it comes to Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman. When I first saw the film, I, like everyone else, went gaga for Natalie's pouty little hard-to-get naivete. However, on repeat viewings, Portman's performance disintegrates before my very eyes. It's painfully self-aware and so superficial that you could knock her over like a cardboard cutout. It's a showy part, and Portman gives us all show, but no substance.

Roberts is a totally different story. I remember being pretty unimpressed by her on first viewing, but it's always a little disconcerting when Roberts loses her trademark sparkly eyed grin. It's what we pay for. But where Portman was all surface, Roberts gives such warmth and breadth and depth to her role. It's her rawest performance to date and I'm appalled that she got NOTHING for it. Even in the big break-up scene, Roberts grounds Owen's gruff anger in something so heartbreakingly human.

Anyway, the more I watch it, the more and more I adore Roberts and the less and less I like Portman. Even Owen's performance starts to feel a little one-note after you've begun to recognize the complexity Roberts brought to the table.

I refuse to dignify Jude Law's "performance" with a remark.

Anonymous said...

nathaniel you didn'y give roberts enough diues for this as i think like us all u were awed by owen and portman as iwas but the more i watch and this scene in particular i see roberts was very overlooked in favour of delpy, etc.

NATHANIEL R said...

well i really liked this performance but my best actress shortlist in 2004 is impenetrable, anon. it's entirely classic.

Hayden said...

Ahhh, see, but that's why you bill all of them supporting. They all supported each other equally; it's a total ensemble piece that's delicately balanced between four main players.

But, really, I would say that it's easier to make a case for Alice as a lead than Anna. After all, her part is the most prominently showcased in the opening and closing of the film.

How do you figure Roberts as a lead? Sure, she got top billing, but I don't see anything about her part that stands above Portman or any of the other cast members.

She's more of a "Golden Globe lead" (e.g. Cate Blanchett in Bandits or Catherine Zeta Jones in Chicago) or "headliner."

mrripley said...

julia is the main role i feel she is the lead due to mega star wattage plus if portman is supp someone has to be lead,wonder what cate b would have done with the role,nat do you think julia is a legend yet!!!

Piper said...

This movie made me feel dirty. Normally, I would be completely turned on by Portman as a stripper. But I just felt dirty. I'm all for dirty talk, but this was filthy dirty talk. I took six showers after.

NATHANIEL R said...

Dr. Lecter: What became of your skin, Piper.

Piper "Clarice" Lazy Eye: I washed it.

Lecter: You still wake up filthy, don't you? Wake up in the dark and hear the dirty talk of the stars.

Piper: Yes.

Lecter: And you think if you shower six times Piper, you can make them stop, don't you? You think if you shower, you won't wake up in the dark ever again to that dirty talk of the stars.

Piper [in tremulous intense close-up]: I don't know.... I don't know.

Piper said...

Nice.

Nick Davis said...

I know this is an inexhaustible conversation (in the general sense, not about Closer in particular), but aren't the four characters all unquestionably leads? I get it that they "support" each other, but so do Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon in Thelma & Louise, and so do all actors. That's a pretty broad definition. If you got cast as any of the four people in Closer, you'd call your Mom and go, "I got one of the four leads!!"

Agreed that Roberts is great in this movie, and I think the movie itself gets better and better. Jude's blankness is really puzzling, and I was never that excited about Natalie in this movie, but the boldness of the design and the conception and the Roberts and Owen performances and the lighting are all aces. Weirdly moving for such an abrasive story.

Arkaan said...

1. Closer... sigh, where do we begin? First off, totally agree with nick - all four are leads, no ifs/ands/or buts SLIGHT SPOILERS BELOW

2. I think Portman was the weakest of the foursome. I don't think she had a clear handle on the role (she didn't know how to do the stylization the role required). I don't entirely blame her, though. I think the role of Alice/Jane is incredibly difficult to do and Marber's adaptation did her no favours (partiularly the change to the ending).

3. I think Jude Law's performance is quite good, actually. I view his character quite differently then I thought Marber did (based on reading the play - the movie character is a lot more pathetic), but Law did a fine job at emphasizing his neediness and his casual cruelty.

4. Owen and Roberts were equally great, but Roberts stunned me with how good she was, whereas I expected that level/type of work from Owen. But both were magnificent.