Movie Article

Closer

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Jude Law, Julia Roberts, ...
Image credit: Closer: Clive Coote

Why we can't wait to see ''Closer''

RELEASE DATE Dec. 3

WHY WE CAN'T WAIT There's the transatlantic master-thespian cast — Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, and Clive Owen — and a veteran director still at the top of his game: Angels in America's Mike Nichols.

THE PREMISE Portman loves Law, who betrays her with Roberts, who betrays him with Owen.

SOURCE Patrick Marber adapted the screenplay from his own stage hit.

THE BACK STORY Roberts wasn't Nichols' first choice for the role, but Cate Blanchett's pregnancy knocked her out of the project. Still, Roberts says she was grateful for the opportunity to work with the Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? director. ''Like a devoted puppy, I will follow that man to the ends of the earth,'' she says. (In fact, she's pledged to make the romantic comedy Seven-Year Switch for Nichols.) Portman shares her sentiments, saying: ''If he asked me to pick up his dog's poop for a year, I would do it.'' Whoa, Nat, too much information.

BURNING QUESTION Can the movie live up to its Oscar-worthy buzz?

COME FOR Julia, playing against type in her most challenging role since Erin Brockovich

STAY FOR Owen, in the performance that should, at long last, make him a star

Originally posted Oct 29, 2004