Sunday, March 22, 2009

Movie: Duplicity

The last time I saw Julia Roberts and Clive Owen in a movie together, it was in the movie Closer, which I liked enough to add to my DVD collection. They have great chemistry together. When I started seeing ads for Duplicity, I was very excited to learn that they were acting opposite each other once again.

I'm going to do my best to write this review without giving away any spoilers, but it's going to be difficult due to the nature of the movie.

Duplicity begins in Dubai about 5 years ago. Claire and Ray (Roberts and Owen, obviously) are at a party at the American Consulate celebrating the Fourth of July. They waste no time and end up in a hotel room together. Some split-screen antics ensue, and we learn that Claire has manipulated him - she takes some documents from him and leaves him alone and unconscious.

During the opening credits, we see a ridiculous scene in slow-motion, where two groups of people in business suits are standing on a tarmac near their company jets. Two men (Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti) break away - one from each group - and they meet directly between the two planes, and they're clearly yelling at each other. We don't hear any sound from the scene, but we see the hilarious looks on their faces. I'm convinced that this scene alone was worth the price of the ticket - especially when Paul Giamatti tries to kick Tom Wilkinson.

This is all set up to lay the foundation for the story at hand. We soon learn that Giamatti and Wilkinson are CEOs of rival companies. That's as much as I'm going to give you about the story. Like I said, I don't want to give away any spoilers.

The movie, written and directed by Tony Gilroy, was exactly what it tried to be. It was clever, funny, and sexy. It had a plot twist or two, as well - again, that's all I'm going to say about that. Roberts and Owen do not disappoint. They play off each other very well - better, in fact, than they were in Closer, and I think that's because of the script and the other great actors they worked with. I loved Giamatti as the eccentric and snippy CEO Richard Garsick.

I also loved that the movie kept me guessing - I loved trying to figure out who was lying and who was bluffing and who was manipulating. With a movie about spies, I always worry that they're going to give away too much and make the whole story too obvious, but they were subtle with every reveal.

I thought the movie was fantastic. I think I might even go see it again.

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