You will be redirected back to your article in seconds


Release date: Dec. 3

Distributor: Sony

Oscar alumni: Mike Nichols (“The Graduate”), Julia Roberts (“Erin Brockovich”), costume designer Ann Roth (“The English Patient”)

Patrick Marber’s play “Closer” created a sensation in London when it bowed in 1997 and got a Tony nomination when it went to Broadway two years later. Now Marber has written his own screen adaptation for helmer Mike Nichols, who knows a thing or two about couples in crisis.

From the perspective of Nichols’ distinguished career, it’s impossible not to think of “Closer” as a companion piece many decades on to “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “Carnal Knowledge” — two definably American films about the erotic collision course among two couples, which is the universal realm where “Closer” lies. (Two big questions: Whether “Closer” might be too raw for mainstream consumption or, conversely, whether it has been tamed for the bigscreen.)

Nichols, of course, got an Oscar nod for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” in 1966 before going on to win the trophy the next year for “The Graduate.” His track record for guiding actors towards their own statuettes is impressive — witness the Emmy haul for “Angels in America.”

Having begun in the theater, Nichols has in recent years focused his attentions to intriguing effect on TV versions of Pulitzer Prize-winning plays. First came “Wit,” with Emma Thompson, and then, also for HBO, Tony Kushner’s “Angels.” The latter, a big-budget, six-hour extravaganza, defied expectations by turning a quintessentially theatrical stage experience into something that lives on its own on the small screen.

So if anyone seems poised to do right by Marber’s play, it’s Nichols and producer Cary Brokaw (the helmer’s partner on “Wit” and “Angels”). At their disposal is an intriguing mix of talented thesps: Clive Owen, Natalie Portman, two-time Oscar nominee Jude Law and Oscar winner Julia Roberts, who was drafted when original choice Cate Blanchett became pregnant. And, no, Roberts doesn’t do an English accent.

More Film

  • Octavia Spencer Bryce Dallas Howard

    Octavia Spencer, Bryce Dallas Howard to Reunite for Comedy 'Fairy Tale Ending'

    Octavia Spencer and Bryce Dallas Howard will reunite for the ensemble comedy “Fairy Tale Ending.” Jim Hecht (“Ice Age: The Meltdown) and Tracy McMillan (“Marvel’s Runaways”) are writing the screenplay. Howard will also produce the Universal movie through her Nine Muses Entertainment alongside Eric Carlson and Susan Carlson. Seth MacFarlane and Erica Huggins will produce [...]

  • Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at DuArt

    Robert Smith, Longtime Executive at New York's DuArt Film Labs, Dies at 88

    Robert Smith, a longtime executive with New York’s DuArt Film Labs, died Jan. 11 in Montvale, N.J. He was 88. Smith spent some 62 years with DuArt, the film processing and post-production facility founded in 1922 in the penthouse of an automobile garage in Midtown. Smith rose to president of DuArt before retiring in 2015. [...]

  • Bird Box

    Los Angeles On-Location Feature Filming Surges 12.2% in 2018

    On-location feature filming in Greater Los Angeles expanded impressively in 2018, gaining 12.2% to 4,377 shooting days, according to FilmL.A. Production activity for feature films rose 15.5% to 1,078 shooting days during the fourth quarter, with 146 days coming from projects receiving California tax credits — including Netflix’s “Bird Box,” Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a [...]

  • 'Ghostbusters': First Look at Jason Reitman's

    Watch the First Teaser for Jason Reitman's 'Ghostbusters' Sequel

    If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, it’s time to watch a teaser for Jason Reitman’s “Ghostbusters” forthcoming film. Sony Pictures released a first look at the upcoming movie, a sequel to the 1984 classic. The footage shows a glimpse of the memorable station wagon Ecto-1. The studio announced on Tuesday that the wheels are [...]

  • Anne Hathaway

    Anne Hathaway to Star in Robert Zemeckis' 'The Witches' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anne Hathaway has closed a deal to star as the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis and Warner Bros.’ “The Witches” adaptation. Variety first reported that Hathaway was holding the offer for both that and “Sesame Street,” and at the time, scheduling for both films were holding up dealmaking. With those issues settled, Hathaway is [...]

  • Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K.,

    Film Ratings Overhauled in the U.K. With Tougher Restrictions on Sexual Content

    The body that oversees film ratings in the U.K. is tightening its age restrictions and giving movies with certain types of sexual content older age ratings. The British Board of Film Classification said the changes were in response to public demand after a consultation that took in the views of over 10,000 people in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content