2004 Top 10 - #7December 24, 2004
#7: Closer : Closer is an anti-romance film. At first, it appears to be about longing and love, but it quickly becomes apparent that the forging and breaking of relationships in this movie are conduits for gaining power and causing pain. Sex is more of a tool and a means of one-upsmanship than it is an expression of passion. The subject matter is compelling, disturbing, and potent, and is no further from "reality" than any of the great screen romances. (Although we would prefer to believe in happily-ever-after scenarios instead of the one proposed by Closer). Director Mike Nichols places the focus squarely on the actors, and it's worth noting that Natalie Portman and Clive Owen steal scenes from Oscar-winner Julia Roberts and two-time Oscar-nominee Jude Law. It's not that Roberts and Law aren't effective, but they are, at least in this production, outclassed. Portman and Owen will almost certainly be mentioned in a month when the 2005 nominees roster is read. Admittedly, if you enjoy only sunny, optimistic movies, Closer is not for you. But if you appreciate films that delve into the darker side of humankind's psyche, this picture offers a tough-to-shake snapshot.
Without a Dead Parrot
So is "Spamalot" a series of "Monty Python" skits interrupted by irreverent musical numbers? Or is it an irreverent musical interrupted by "Monty Python" skits? The answer will probably depend on what your perspective is. This "new musical ...
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Is it too much to ask that children be allowed to empty their trick-or-treat bags and inventory the contents before getting ready for Christmas? Apparently, it is, at least as far as Hollywood is concerned. So, ready or not, Disney is foisting The ...
The problem with being 13 years old and wanting to go to the movies every weekend was that transportation was an issue. With the nearest theater not within bicycling distance (my preferred means of traveling to most nearby destinations), that meant ...