Without a double, the most venomous, fragile and desperate love story that's ever been told, based on a well known British play (Which when it first took to the stage actually starred Clive Owen). Closer elegantly and charmingly wiggles into our hearts, before stabbing them a thousand times with a rusted knife. Set in London, Alice and Dan are bizarrely introduced to each other by a road accident. Falling for each other instantly the couple become madly in love, transforming each others lives. However when Dan turns out not to be the nice guy that he lets on and the lives of Anna, a photographer and Larry, a doctor, intrude on this perfect relationship, the human psyche is pushed to braking point as a 4 way love cluster fuck begins. The cast are without a doubt, perfect, all 4 actors give such a brilliant and diverse performance, really making the characters their own, it is close to impossible to imagine anyone else in the roles, Jude Law portrays an incredibly weak man, who's exterior becomes more and more smug while the insides stay fragile. Natalie Portman is phenominal as the American ghost, who goes where the wind takes her, he complete and utter passion and youthfulness in this film is admirable and adorable, yet equally disturbing. Julia Roberts is extremely strong, even if a lot of her screen time revolves around the shit hitting the fan, her blunt and devious traits are poisonous while being luring. However it is Clive Owen here that steals the show and the audience and the seats and the screen. His apish, cut throat and frightening portrayal of a London "Bloke" tears the screen in 2 every time he graces it. He clearly understands the source material to such perfection his convictions and fire are so believable at points you forget your watching a film. It is a difficult film, the characters are all, in their own way, horrible people, however the stories use of language and constant deceit make it impossible not to sympathise with all of these people. The language is brilliant, lifted straight from the theatre script. It works so well, because it feels so real and on screen it just emits so much raw emotion. There is the occasional line that seems forced or over dramatic but they are few and far between. The film also bolsters a shiny polish, the lighting is gorgeous, subtle and life like, camera angles get exactly what they need to and the sets and locations are utterly brilliant. The presentation of this film is pristine, almost, even Damien Rice's song book ending the film fits perfectly. Its almost a match made in heaven. There are a few niggles here and there that do annoy. The film hurtles at break neck speed however it only wants you to see pivotal moments in its timeline. This is fine but the fact that each scene here has a huge leap in time between each other, make it very difficult to really get a deeper feeling of character relations. It doesnt help that every scene has something close to diabolical happen in it also, meaning you cant quite shake the feeling your always missing something. There is an occasional crap maneuver with some shots as well, relishing somewhat with the zoom function, its a small gripe but its there. Finally there are moments of just cringe worthy film making, not much, but a couple that just lead to huge sighs. Like for example having every man in a busy street stop dead in their tracks to look at Natalie Portman as she struts down the street, its moments like this the film breaks the fourth wall and you cant help but be left with a bitter taste. Despite some minor niggles, Closer hasnt aged a bit and in all honesty it still is one of my most loved romantic, if you can call it that, film.