Saturday, April 03, 2010

Duplicity (2009)

Duplicity is a film by director Tony Gilroy, which stars Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Tom Wilkinson, and Paul Giamatti. All four of these actors make this movie worth seeing. Be warned though that this movie has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.

The synopsis of the film is this:

"DUPLICITY is a slick, comic caper in which it’s never exactly clear who is being conned. It’s easy to see that ex-CIA agent Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts) and former MI6 member Ray Koval (Clive Owen) have a heated history together when they embark on an elaborate mission of corporate espionage."

That's all I'm going to say about this. The way to enjoy this movie is just by watching it, and paying attention to the plot. Like I said the plot has many twists and turns in it, but the film is laced with some dark comic undertones that make this a funny romp. I have to say also that the cinematography by Robert Elswit is stunning, and I really like the feeling of this film. We don't know who to trust and the characters don't trust each other. It's a con within a con within a con. That's what makes it interesting. Tom Wilkinson's performance is stunning, but I dare you to name a bad performance by this actor. Wilkinson is a master here and I love how his character unfolds. But by naming one I do a disservice to all in this film. Julia Roberts plays it straight and serious, and it works. Clive Owens performance is flawless, and Paul Giamatti's performance is just a hoot. Giamatti is so fun to look at and watch I could watch him in almost anything.Watch Giamatti in American Splendor and you'll see I'm right.

Duplicity is a movie you could watch twice, and each time something else is newly revealed. the film and story is that intricate. The only thing I can say about this film is that it may be too complex. Maybe too many twists, but I kind of liked it, and I had no trouble following along. The dialogue is really snappy, and I think the direction works. For a film all about mistrust the director really trusted his actors to come through here. All their performances work for the film, and there is not one fault I can give in any of the performances.

In fact I am inspired to watch the directors commentary here, and learn just how he pulled those performances out. Surely that alone would be worth the price of the DVD. The film does jump around a bit. From present to past, and then back, yet it works here, and it kind of throws off the viewer which I think the filmmakers wanted.

All in all I recommend the film Duplicity. It's a very smart film with very good performances.

1 comment:

Pete Bauer said...

I wanted to like this film more than I did. I thought it was overly complicated as well. Loved the actors playing the leads of the rival companies... great character actors.