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Theatrical poster
Directed by Mike Nichols
Produced by Mike Nichols
Cary Brokaw
John Calley
Written by Patrick Marber
Starring Julia Roberts
Jude Law
Natalie Portman
Clive Owen
Music by Suzana Peric
Cinematography Stephen Goldblatt
Editing by John Bloom
Antonia Van Drimmelen
Studio Columbia Pictures
Distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment
Release date(s) December 3, 2004
Running time 98 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $27 million[1]
Gross revenue $115,505,027

Closer is a 2004 American drama film written by Patrick Marber, based on his award-winning 1997 play of the same name. It was produced and directed by Mike Nichols and stars Natalie Portman, Julia Roberts, Jude Law and Clive Owen. The film, like the play on which it is based, has been seen by some as a modern and tragic version of Mozart's opera Così fan tutte, with references to that opera in both the plot and the soundtrack.[2] Owen starred in the play as Dan, the role assumed by Law in the film.

The film was recognized with a number of awards and nominations, including Oscar nominations (and Golden Globe wins) for both Portman and Owen for their performances in supporting roles.



In the opening scene, 20-year-old Alice Ayres (Natalie Portman) and Dan Woolf (Jude Law) see each other for the first time from opposite sides of a street in downtown London. Alice just arrived from the United States in London and Dan is an unsuccessful British author who is on his way to work where he writes obituaries for a newspaper. Alice looks in the wrong direction as she crosses the street and is hit by a taxicab right in front of Dan. He rushes over. She smiles to him and says, "Hello, stranger". He takes her to a hospital, where Alice is treated and released. Afterward, on the way to his office, they stop by Postman's Park, the same park that he and his father visited after his mother's death. Before he leaves her and goes to work, he asks her for her name. They soon start a relationship.

A year later, Dan is straying. He has written a novel based on Alice's life and while being photographed to publicize it, he flirts with the American photographer Anna Cameron (Julia Roberts). Anna shares a kiss with Dan before finding out that Dan and Alice are in a relationship. Alice arrives and borrows Anna's bathroom, leaving Anna and Dan alone again. Dan takes the chance to try to persuade Anna into having an affair with him but is cut short by Alice's return. Alice asks Anna if she can have her portrait taken as well. Anna agrees and Alice asks Dan to leave them alone during the photo shooting. While being photographed, she reveals to Anna that she overheard them, and is photographed weeping. Alice does not reveal what she overheard to Dan, even as he spends a year stalking Anna, who resists.

Another year later, Dan enters a cybersex chat room and randomly meets Larry Gray (Clive Owen), a British dermatologist. With Anna still on his mind, Dan pretends to be her, and using the pretense that they will be having sex, Dan convinces Larry to meet at the aquarium (where Anna told Dan she often went). Larry goes to the meeting place, only to be made a fool of. Anna tells Larry that a man who had pursued her, Dan, was most likely to blame for the setup. Soon, Anna and Larry become a couple and they refer to Dan as "Cupid" from then on.

Four months later, at Anna's photo exhibition, Larry meets Alice, whom he recognizes from the tearful photograph that is one of many being exhibited. Larry knows that Alice and Dan are a couple, from talking to Anna. Meanwhile, Dan convinces Anna to become involved with him. They begin cheating on their respective lovers for a year, even though Anna and Larry marry halfway through the year. Eventually Anna and Dan each confess the affair to their respective partners, leaving their relationships for one another.

Alice begins to support herself as a stripper, heartbroken by her loss. One day, Larry runs into her accidentally at the strip club and he (heart-broken himself) realizes that he knows her, but can not quite remember from where (she is wearing a pink wig). He asks her if her name is Alice, but no matter how much money he gives her, she keeps telling him her name is "Jane Jones." He asks her to come home with him so he can look after her, but she refuses. The line of questioning becomes pornographic, albeit without any explicit nudity, when Larry asks Alice: "What does your cunt taste like?" Alice replies with a smile: "Heaven". Larry then demands: "Alice, tell me something true". Alice replies: "Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off, ... but it's better if you do". The full irony of Alice's response is not apparent until the conclusion of the film.

Eventually, Larry convinces Anna to see him one last time; she agrees to sleep with him so that he will sign the divorce papers so she can be with Dan. When she goes to meet Dan at the opera after the tryst, he realizes not only what has transpired, but that Anna still has a connection to Larry. When Dan goes to Larry's office to confront him, he is shocked to find out that Anna never turned the signed divorce papers in to her lawyer. Larry suggests to Dan that he try to get Alice back, but Dan does not know where she is. Larry tells him not only where to find Alice, but that they slept together.

Alice takes Dan back and she decides to return to the USA. When Dan asks if he could come with her since he has never been in the US, she agrees. They are in a hotel room near Heathrow Airport happy to be back together. Alice notes that today is the day when they first met on that London street exactly four years ago. When Dan asks her whether she had a one-night stand with Larry, she initially denies it. But when he insists on the truth, she suddenly tells him that she doesn't love him anymore and goes on to say that she did sleep with Larry that night he found her working at the strip club. Dan then reveals that Larry had already told him about the one-night stand but that he's already forgiven her. She insists that it's over and tells him to leave. He refuses, but she tells him that if he doesn't go voluntarily that she will call security. He does not believe this, so she eventually spits in Dan's face, causing him to slap her viciously.

The Alice Ayres tile in Postman's Park, London

In the end, Alice returns to New York alone. Passing through the immigration checkpoint on her way back into the United States, it is revealed through a shot of her passport that her name is indeed Jane Rachel Jones (the name she had given Larry in the strip club) and that she had lied about her name for the duration of her four-year relationship with Dan.

Back in London, Dan returns to Postman's Park, and to his surprise, notices the name "Alice Ayres" on a tile that is dedicated to a girl, "who by intrepid conduct", and at the cost of her young life, saved three children. The final scene shows Alice/Jane walking on Broadway (Times Square) towards W 47th St, in Manhattan, approaching a red traffic light, where passers-by are turning their heads staring at her, stunned at her beauty; a scene symmetrical with the opening scene, where Alice/Jane and Dan are staring at each other on the streets of London.



Closer was filmed at Elstree Film and Television Studios and on location in London.


The main theme of the film follows Mozart's opera Così fan tutte, with references to that opera in both the plot and the soundtrack.[3] Further the soundtrack contains songs from Jem, Damien Rice and Lisa Hannigan, Bebel Gilberto, The Devlins, Prodigy and The Smiths.


Critical reaction

The film received generally positive reviews from critics. In the review of Rotten Tomatoes reported 69% of the positive reviews, based on 188 reviews.[4] In another review, Metacritic reported 65% of positive reviews, based on 42 reviews.[5] Roger Ebert writing for Chicago Sun-Times said of the people involved with the film that "They are all so very articulate, which is refreshing in a time when literate and evocative speech has been devalued in the movies". Peter Travers writing for Rolling Stone that it "Mike Nichols haunting, hypnotic Closer vibrates with eroticism, bruising laughs and dynamite performances from four attractive actors doing decidedly unattractive things". Kenneth Turan writing for Los Angeles Times that it is "Despite involved acting and Nichols' impeccable professionalism as a director, the end result is, to quote one of the characters, a bunch of sad strangers photographed beautifully" . Dana Stevens writing for The New York Times that it is "Unlike most movie love stories, Closer does have the virtue of unpredictability. The problem is that, while parts are provocative and forceful, the film as a whole collapses into a welter of misplaced intensity."

Box office

The film was released on December 2004, in the United States. Closer opened in limited release, but theatre count was increased after the film was released. The film was domestically a financial success, grossing $33,987,757.[1] Huge success followed in the international market, where the film grossed an additional $81,517,270, accounting for over 70% of its worldwide gross, which turned out to be $115,505,027. It was considered a great success at the box office as its actual production budget was only $27 million.[1]

Awards and nominations

The film won the following awards:

Year Award Category – Winner(s)
2005 BAFTA Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role – Clive Owen
2005 Golden Globes Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture – Clive Owen
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture – Natalie Portman
2005 Las Vegas Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actor – Clive Owen
2004 National Board of Review Best Acting by an Ensemble – Jude Law, Clive Owen, Natalie Portman and Julia Roberts
2004 New York Film Critics Circle Best Supporting Actor – Clive Owen
2004 San Diego Film Critics Society Best Supporting Actress – Natalie Portman
2004 Toronto Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor, Male – Clive Owen

The film was nominated for the following awards:

Year Award Category – Nominee(s)
2005 Academy Awards Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture – Clive Owen
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture – Natalie Portman
2005 American Screenwriters Association Discover Screenwriting AwardPatrick Marber
2005 BAFTA Awards Best Screenplay – Adapted – Patrick Marber
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role – Natalie Portman
2005 Broadcast Film Critics Association Best Acting Ensemble – Jude Law, Clive Owen, Natalie Portman and Julia Roberts
Best Supporting Actor – Clive Owen
Best Supporting Actress – Natalie Portman
2005 Golden Globes Best Director – Motion Picture – Mike Nichols
Best Motion Picture – Drama
Best Screenplay – Motion Picture – Patrick Marber
2005 Online Film Critics Society Best Screenplay, Adapted – Patrick Marber
Best Supporting Actor – Clive Owen
Best Supporting Actress – Natalie Portman
2005 Satellite Award Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Drama – Clive Owen
Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Drama – Natalie Portman
Best Film Editing – John Bloom and Antonia Van Drimmelen
Best Screenplay, Adapted – Patrick Marber
2005 Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie Actress: Drama – Natalie Portman

Home media release

Closer was released in DVD in 2005 and high-definition Blu-ray Disc on May 22, 2007.


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Closer is a 2004 film directed by Mike Nichols and written by Patrick Marber, who also wrote the play on which the film is based. It centers on the relationships and infidelities of Anna (played by Julia Roberts), Dan (Jude Law), Alice (Natalie Portman) and Larry (Clive Owen).

If you believe in love at first sight, you never stop looking.



  • Hello, stranger.
  • Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off... but it's better if you do
  • It's a lie. It's a bunch of sad strangers photographed beautifully, and... all the glittering assholes who appreciate art say it's beautiful 'cause that's what they wanna see. But the people in the photos are sad, and alone... But the pictures make the world seem beautiful, so... the exhibition is reassuring which makes it a lie, and everyone loves a big fat lie.
  • Where is this love? I can't see it, I can't touch it. I can't feel it. I can hear it. I can hear some words, but I can't do anything with your easy words.
  • No one will love you as much as I do. Why isn't love enough?
  • I don't want to lie. I can't tell the truth. So it's over.
  • I don't love you anymore. Goodbye.
  • Yes, I would have loved you... forever. Now, please go.
  • I'm a waif.
  • I've been you.


  • I'm your stranger, jump!
  • You think love is simple. You think the heart is like a diagram.
  • What's so great about the truth? Try lying for a change, it's the currency of the world.
  • Deception is brutal. I'm not pretending otherwise.


  • Don't stop loving me. I can see it draining out of you. It's me, remember? It was a stupid thing to do and it meant nothing. If you love me enough, you'll forgive me.
  • He tastes like you, only sweeter!
  • Don't raise your eye brows. It makes you look smug.
  • You look like the cat that got the cream. Stop licking yourself.
  • I'm not a thief Alice.


  • I know who you are. I love you. I love everything about you that hurts.
  • Don't say it! Don't you fucking say I'm too good for you. I am, but don't say it.
  • [speaking to Anna] You'd be my whore. And in return I will pay you with your liberty.
  • Dan, I lied to you. I really did fuck Alice. I'm sorry I had to tell you, but I'm just not big enough to forgive you, Buster.
  • Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist wrapped in blood - go fuck yourself! You writer! You liar!
  • You don't know the first thing about love, because you don't understand compromise.
  • That's the spirit. Thank you. Thank you for your honesty. Now fuck off and die, you fucked up slag.


Dan: I saw this face, this vision.. the moment you stepped into the road. It was the moment of my life.
Alice: This is the moment of your life.
Dan: You were perfect.
Alice: I still am.

Alice: Do you still fancy me?
Dan: Of course.
Alice: You're lying. I've been you.

Larry: Tell me
Anna: No
Larry: I treat you like a whore..
Anna: Sometimes...
Larry: Why would that be?

Anna: I haven't even seen you for a year.
Dan: Yes you have...
Anna: Only because you stalk me outside my studio.
Dan: I never stalk, I lurk. and when I'm not there, you look for me.
Anna: How do you know if you are not there?
Dan: Because I am there, lurking... from a distance.

Dan: Didn't fancy my sandwiches?
Alice: Don't eat fish.
Dan: Why not?
Alice: Fish piss in the sea.
Dan: So do children.
Alice: I don't eat children either.

Dan: What were you doing in New York?
Alice: You know...
Dan: Well no, I don't. What, were you studying?
Alice: Stripping. Look at your little eyes...
Dan: I can't see my little eyes.

Dan: At six, we stand round the computer and read the next day's page, make final changes, put in a few euphemisms to amuse ourselves...
Alice: Such as?
Dan: He was a convivial fellow-meaning he was an alcoholic. He valued his privacy-gay. He enjoyed his privacy-raging queen.
Alice: What would my euphemism be?
Dan: She was... disarming.
Alice: That's not a euphemism.
Dan: Yes, it is.

Dan: I fell in love with her, Alice.
Alice: Oh, as if you had no choice? There's a moment, there's always a moment, I can do this, I can give in to this, or I can resist it, and I don't know when your moment was, but I bet there was one.

Dan: I want Anna back.
Larry: She's made her choice.
Dan: I owe you an apology. I fell in love with her. My intention was not to make you suffer.
Larry: So where's the apology, ya cunt.
Dan: I apologize. If you love her you'll let her go so she can be happy.
Larry: She doesn't want to be happy.
Dan: Everybody wants to be happy.
Larry: Depressives don't. They want to be unhappy to confirm they're depressed. If they were happy they couldn't be depressed anymore. They'd have to go out into the world and live. Which can be depressing.

Alice: I'm not a whore.
Larry: I wouldn't pay.

Larry: So Anna tells me your bloke wrote a book. Any good?
Alice: Of course.
Larry: It's about you, isn't it?
Alice: Some of me.
Larry: Oh? What did he leave out?
Alice: The truth.

Anna: Why is the sex so important?
Larry: Because I'm a fucking caveman!

Dan: You've ruined my life.
Anna: You'll get over it.

Alice: I hate you.
Dan: I'm sorry.
Alice: Irrelevant!

Larry: I want you to tell me your name. [throws down a note]
Alice: Thank you. My name is Jane.
Larry: Your real name. [throws down another note]
Alice: Thank you. My real name is Jane.
Larry: Careful. [throws down another note]
Alice: Thank you. Still Jane.
Larry: I've got about another five-hundred quid here. Why don't I just give you all this money? [throws down more money and holds some up to her face] And you tell me what your real name is, Alice.
Alice: I promise. [Larry throws down the rest of the money] Thank you, my real name is plain Jane Jones.
Larry: I may be rich, but I'm not stupid.
Alice: What a shame, Doc, I love them rich and stupid.
Larry: Don't you fuck around with me!

Alice: Fuck me.
Dan: Again? We have to get up at 6.
'Alice: How can one man be so endlessly disappointing?
Dan: That's my charm.

Larry: Anna? I got the coat. The white coat.
Anna: So I see.
Larry: I´m Larry, the doctor.
Anna: Hello, Dr. Larry.
Larry: Feel free to call me "The Sultan".

Alice: Why do you love her? Is it because she is successful?
Dan: No, it´s because she doesn't need me!

Dan: When I get back, please tell me the truth.
Alice: Why?
Dan: Because I'm addicted to it. Because without it, we're animals. Trust me.

Dan: I don't wanna hurt you.
Alice: So why are you?

External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Closer is a film starring Natalie Portman. Clive Owen is also in the movie.

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