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  • The subject of incest, between an adult man and his sister, will immediately put off many potential movie watchers, but for those not turned away easily, Close My Eyes succeeds as a sociological study, and should be commended for its hypnotic depiction of very difficult subject matter.

    How many times have we seen, or imagined, an inappropriate flirtation from a woman, at a time when circumstances have left her emotionally distraught? That this flirtation of Natalie (Saskia Reeves) should find its way to her own younger brother Richard (Clive Owen) immediately jump starts the story into somewhat previously uncharted water.

    Perhaps incest is a drug, not unlike and somewhere between alcohol and heroin, and certainly the intensity of the feelings, the desire, as portrayed between the two translates to us as such. It is this undeniable intensity that is the strength, perhaps the honesty of the film.

    Alan Rickman, is brilliant, as usual, in a smallish role as Natalie's husband.
  • ian_harris27 January 2003
    This film is an expanded and improved rewrite of Poliakoff's early play Hitting Town. I have always found Poliakoff's plays filmic; this reworking on film is more interesting than the play, although the starkness of the incest in Hitting Town was probably more shocking, and the 1970's UK audience was probably more susceptible to shock.

    Three great performances in this film - Saskia Reeves, Clive Owens and Alan Rickman.

    Poliakoff has a great knack of mixing the profound, the profane and the mundane. One telling scene in Richard's flat has Richard and Natalie agonising over their tryst, then making love, while in the background a rain-affected test match (cricket) fails to happen and then starts to happen again. Unforgettable symbolism - Bergman would have used it if only the Swedes played cricket.

    This film is well worth seeing.
  • c.mark1 March 2000
    This is the kind of film that British film-makers do very well. An ambitious brother and sister have grown up distant from each other. The tension they feel when they meet comes to a head when Natalie initiates Richard into an incestuous affair. She maintains control throughout and he is tortured. The whole story is set against a background of urban London and sumptuous Richmond middle-class wealth. It is very well acted and has an interesting sub plot of Richard's boss who is dying of AIDS.

    It deals with the difficulty of finding permanant relationships in the late 1980s/early 1990s, but it makes the point with subtlety. It looks mainstream, but falls into the art cinema category, probably because it was intended for television broadcasting. It deals with a very controversial subject with taste, but it is explicit enough for you to feel the attraction between Natalie and Richard with conviction. The lead characters in it are attractive too with great support from Alan Rickman as Natalie's dominating husband. It is as English as anything by Merchant/Ivory, but has much more edge.
  • I'm surprised this movie isn't rated higher - I can't think of anyone who's seen it who hasn't liked it. Women who see it are all mesmerised by Alan Rickman, who rather steals the show. For many women this was their first taste of Rickman, and it was love at first sight! He _is_ good, and he's cast in an interesting role (Saskia Reeves cheats on him when she has an affair with her brother, played by Clive Owen, who was probably more famous than Rickman at the time because he'd recently starred in a very successful TV drama series). The incest plot is treated very well - the script, acting and direction are excellent. The whole situation is set up so as not to shock, but to make us think, and I think the film succeeds.
  • Well, I liked it so much I opted to buy it. (A VERY tough movie to find might I add) But I digress...When the announcer gave a brief description of this movie on T.V, I admit I was curious (in a Ripley's Believe it or not sort of way). I initially watched it for the shock value. But by the end credits I thoroughly "wowed". The acting was convincing to say the least, especially when dealing with such a sensitive subject as incest. The beautiful landscape this movie is set upon is great eye candy (so is Saskia Reeves). This movie gets high marks in my book, however I do have a gripe. Early on in the movie the plot is rushed, switching time periods too often. However, once the time shifts settle the movie begins to shine. The human drama played out represents one possible outcome in a field which most people know little about. Is this an accurate portrayal? Who knows?.....Who wants to know? One thing is certain it makes for an interesting and entertaining movie.
  • clemato17 April 2005
    The film is really haunting and keeps you spellbound. While the film appears to portray sex scenes for nudity's sake, that's not really what is going on.

    Okay, okay, this is no Pulitzer Prize winner and Alan Rickman, Clive Owen, and Saskia Reeves can act better than they do in this movie. Butt, I think they each brought so much into the picture that other, less talented, actors would have failed to make this film work as well as it did.

    The dynamic between Natalie, her brother Richard, and her husband Sinclair is very strange. If you let yourself go and immerse yourself into the story, then you can enjoy it.

    The story is about very taboo subject matter, at the time when AIDS/HIV finally came into the public consciousness. But, I do think the screenplay by Stephen Poliakoff is very well written and the film strongly succeeds because he also directed it.

    I can compare the story to that of Jane Campion's "The Piano". It is risqué, bizarre, and seemingly shallow. It is also thoroughly compelling. The characters are otherworldly and mysterious, yet very commonplace. You can almost identify with them and by the end of the movie you will find yourself wanting to know more. It is as if you have been looking into a snow globe at a fantasy world come to life, just on the other side of the looking glass. Everything is madness for this trio....

    "Close My Eyes" is a journey into the "What if ? ". The most difficult question is, "Why ? ". Only Natalie and Richard can answer that question, or can they? If you are a fan of Clive Owen, Alan Rickman, and/or Saskia Reeves, check it out.
  • I have just watched this movie on TV and it is may be the fourth time I have seen it. It is one of very few movies I want to see more than once and I find something new in it every single time.

    Alan Rickman is very suited to this role and Clive Owen is also good but for me the star of the show is in fact Saskia Reeves who is fantastically believable, more so than Clive Owen in many ways. Most noticeable of all are the dramatic changes in her appearance in what are supposed to be the various different years in the movie showing us seemingly the very fast changing nature of her personality from an uncomfortable young office worker to a much more confident and well presented married lady in the prime of life.

    The contrast of embryonic docklands with the rich scenery of the sunny Thames is fantastic. Knowing both Thames and the development of docklands at this time well probably made this film seem even more relevant to me plus the taboo subject is one I have always had a vague interest in. The way in which they suffer tremendous guilt as soon as they go too far is also very believable. Most of us stop short of crossing the line they cross here but if Ms Reeves had been my sister perhaps temptation would have presented itself more strongly.
  • Writer and director Poliakoff has had a variable but often remarkable career in television mostly, with landmarks 'Bloody Kids' (directed admirably by Stephen Frears) and 'Caught On A Train'. His work as a director as well as a writer has been arguably less successful with the recent 'The Tribe' being laughed off the screen despite the sell of a naked Anna Friel, and the critically mixed reviews of his serial set in a photographic museum. His plots tend to have hard to swallow fancies to them, and this is no exception. Life tough and fractured in the modern financial jungle? Roll about on the floor with your sister, after all you haven't seen her for years. Then blow this up in some way to include aids and pretentiously tie the outcome to the fate of humanity, not to mention your actual middle classes. There are many puzzling aspects to this film, not least the overbearing photography and wallowing in architectural richness. There's got to be a reason, it just escapes me.

    Poliakoff's script is efficient and always interesting, despite the cringe factor, but it's the performances that make this film so strange and memorable. Clive Owen has cut a curious path in British telly, sharing with Paul McGann a sort of 'new man' image, especially in 'Chancer' where he was seen snuggling up cooeing to his baby son stark naked in bed. "Aaaaaah," went several thousand female hearts. Owen is an interesting, even brilliant actor. He doesn't act with his voice, which is often kept low key and naturalistic, but through his face. He's one of those gifted actors who can portray deep emotion and anguish with a mere inflection. He is partnered with the equally able Saskia Reeves, and together they burn up the screen, especially in the blistering climax. It's at moments like these you really admire actors and the way they make the magic happen.
  • The opening scenes of Stephen Poliakoff's film, 'Close My Eyes', are truly mesmerising. We see a floodlit bowling green, incongruously (but, given that one of the subplots of the movie turns out to concern urban planning law, not irrelevantly) positioned amongst tower blocks; meanwhile a young woman (Natalie, played by Saskia Reeves) is smoking a cigarette on a balcony, possibly in one of those same blocks. As the credits fade, the camera homes in on a young man in a hurry (Richard, played by Clive Owen), passing by the bowlers; it turns out that the woman is his estranged sister, and he's late. She, on the other hand, is upset, and looks to him for comfort; and in the middle of the night, they share a moment of affection that goes a little bit beyond what siblings ought to do. The unfolding of their lives over the next few years is then summarised through a depiction of their subsequent (non-) interactions: he is every bit the strident, ambitious, fornicating yuppie; while she feels lost and uncertain, with a brother-shaped hole in her life. But after years abroad, Richard comes home, rather surprisingly to take a lowly paid public sector job. And then Natalie, whom he has almost forgotten, gets in touch and invites him to meet her new husband, Sinclair (played wonderfully by Alan Rickman, in probably his finest role). Sinclair is a millionaire futurologist, a man both kindly, but also child-like in his fundamental inability to empathise. And Natalie, who has gained a new confidence, starts to come on to Richard with a very definite intent. The skill with which the film effectively tells half its story in just a handful of minutes, with brilliantly selected visuals replacing the need for expository dialogue, is breathtaking; one can hardly take one's eyes off the screen.

    But for all Poliakoff's brilliantly striking imagery, the film manifests some serious defects. To start with, the subsequent plotting doesn't quite work. The central idea appears to be that ambitious Richard falls in love with his sister, but she is only game-playing; he then falls apart. But the film keeps its distance from its characters, sometimes their motivation (beyond raw sexual passion) is unclear, and some of their behaviour seems forced to fit the dictates of plot. One could also argue that, in dealing with incest, the film is slightly dishonest. It wants to be seen to explore a taboo, but creates a scenario in which two consenting, independent adults find themselves in a very unusual situation: to put it another way, the reason incest is taboo is because it is almost invariably exploitative, whereas this relationship is not (at least, not in the way that generally characterises the phenomenon).

    Another aspect of this movie is Poliakoff's decision to set his movie in a landscape more symbolic than real. We witness the progression of an almost supernaturally idyllic affair, made even more perfect by being set in contrast to the spectre of A.I.D.S. Sexual intercourse takes place between beautiful bodies disrobing from beautiful clothing in beautiful places. Alan Rickman plays the sort of eccentric genius whom we instinctively feel is exactly what a millionaire should be like, though in reality, one suspects, most are none of the sort. Even the supposedly wretched council offices where Richard takes up his new job have more the feel of a trendy design consultancy than of grim municipal poverty. More generally, Poliakoff's films invariably set up contrasts between worlds defined by qualities such as power, sex, or tradition; but never seem to recognise that all these qualities, far from being opposites, are just different attributes that identify some as the "haves" of our society, as opposed to the "have-nots". There are a few images of the homeless, of the truly dispossessed, in this film, but they only exist as images; while the real drama plays out within a gilded circle. In some respects, it's this romantic other-worldliness that makes the film so physically striking. But social realism it ain't.

    Does this make it a bad film? On the contrary, one could say it's a great film. But the roots of Poliakoff's later disaster, 'The Tribe', are clearly on show here, alongside evidence of his rare gift for combining intelligence and beauty, in this fascinatingly flawed film.
  • How can you feel sympathetic to a brother and sister who fall in love with one another? Ensure that the viewer knows that they grew up separated from one another, and that at least one of them is emotionally frustrated after a series of failed relationships. Throw in an older, maybe boring husband (an Alan Rickman I can't even imagine!!), mix in some gorgeous surroundings and it's not quite so astonishing. The comedic touches are great....the brother's fright at being invited on a picnic by Rickman ..."You think he's going to kill me?" says volumns about his guilt. Betty Davis criticized one movie as merely a 'travelogue', which I don't mind at all: the beautiful upper reaches of the Thames, the country estate, the old church where the lovers try to break apart.....wonderful!! I watch it over and over just for the scenery. The brother's bare buns aren't half as attractive as Alan Rickman's, but the sex scene in an empty office with some nameless young woman is quite hilarious.

    The acting is excellent, as is the dialogue. The "I will, I won't" of the female gets a little wearing. but I suppose it's necessary to show how repulsive incest was initially to her. For those of you who like quirky movies and English environments, this is a must!!
  • The movie doesn´t start very interesting, the buildings and offices shown in the movie are very boring to me and I don´t think that the actors/actresses look extremely beautiful --- but the film itself is a real masterpiece. The relationship between the two protagonists could only end in a catastrophe, although some scenes want to make us believe the opposite. This movie shows us the real meaning of the so-called "falling in love": it means nothing but going crazy (but in a somehow lovely way) without thinking over the consequences. I like especially the scene in Richard´s flat when they give in to temptation. And when they sit on the floor and talk about public transport - that´s somehow really funny. In this scenes you can see how much sex means to men, it may change their whole personality and makes them vulnerable. I like the end of this movie very much. Especially Rickman´s words at the end (I can´t write them here because I have only seen the movie in German).
  • Close My Eyes (Stephen Poliakoff, 1991) is a troubling, intriguing, but sometimes superficial state-of-the-nation drama that attempts to have the last word on the 1980s. Saskia Reeves plays an aimless, unhappy young woman who marries a millionaire (Alan Rickman), then embarks on a passionate affair with her fiery, arrogant younger brother (Clive Owen). Though she can apparently turn the attraction on and off - an element that's insufficiently developed until the close - he is besotted, taking the AIDS crisis as further proof that he is doing The Right Thing. While this is primarily a portrait of sibling love, Poliakoff does have loftier ambitions as his screenplay encompasses compromised dreams (seen in the careers of its protagonists, and the broken idealism of city architecture) and the hollowness of contemporary priorities.

    There's a moment in Lynne Ramsey's Morvern Callar, where Samantha Morton seems to capture just how peculiar and uncomfortable someone sounds in their own head when they're expressing a sensitive sentiment - in this case: "Shut up, he's dead." It's so unlike conventional acting that I've never been able to work out if she's doing it on purpose or has just mangled the dialogue with an atypical display of woodenness. Owen has a similar moment here, with a line that straddles the divide between glibness and profundity. "My boss is ill - he's got AIDS", he says simply. It's a particularly odd moment in a film that's littered with peculiarities and has a lot to say - not all of it entirely coherently.

    With its striking, grim cinematography and bleak subject matter - punctuated with moments of wry humour - Close My Eyes plays like an embryonic version of Mike Leigh's dizzyingly brilliant Naked, which it predates by two years. In common with Poliakoff's 2009 film Glorious 39, it's a story of well-spoken people falling apart, lit by ever-present music, stately tracking shots and a curious interest in construction work as metaphor. Indeed, Poliakoff's fine visual sense is much in evidence, particularly in a breathtaking surrealistic opening. Acting-wise, it's a mixed bag, with a weak supporting cast but three strong leads. Reeves is the standout - absolutely excellent in a tricky part - with Owen as good as I've seen him and Rickman doing his considerable best in a role that tends towards caricature. Interesting stuff, and definitely one to revisit.
  • In England, the siblings Natalie (Saskia Reeves) and Richard (Clive Owen) every now and then are together, and Natalie usually opens her heart to her brother. Years later, Natalie gets married to the wealthy Sinclair (Alan Rickman) and in the boredom of her marriage, she has a love affair with her brother. However, Richard becomes obsessed by his sister and addicted to have sex with her. Meanwhile, Sinclair distrusts Natalie and believes she has a lover.

    "Close My Eyes" is a powerful drama about the obsessive incestuous love of two siblings. The unusual triangle of love is supported by the gorgeous Saskia Reeves that has a great performance in a bold role. The always excellent Alan Rickman is the stereotype of the British gentleman and Clive Owen in the beginning of his career successfully completes the triangle of lovers. This film was released in Brazil on VHS by Globo Vídeo distributor. My vote is six.

    Title (Brazil): "Três Amores Uma Paixão" ("Three Loves One Passion")
  • Close My Eyes is a mild and genteel examination of sibling incest amid the London yuppie set and against the backdrop of riverside redevelopment along the Thames. Natalie Gillespie (Saskia Reeves) is an unhappy woman of working class roots. We know this from a quick moving opening sequence of brief scenes that covers five years of her dissatisfied love relationships whining to her ambitious sexy brother, Richard, who she is distanced in age and personality. Richard Gillespie (Clive Owens), is a studly young architect, outgoing unlike his sullen sister, and able to successfully pursue his intellectual and creative pursuits. After a shared late night kiss, reality was quickly passed over as simply cuddling until Natalie rekindles her relationship with the long absent brother dearest.

    Again bored, and with a new husband, Sinclair Bryant (Alan Rickman), a financial wiz who is pompous, condescending of his wife, and wealthy from family money, Natalie and Richard cross the line of social taboos with a torrid sexual affair. Richard's distraction with his sister becomes obsession while she is simply using him for excitement against a vacuous social schedule with unsuspecting Sinclair. The danger of forbidden fruit and illegal sexual thrill drives the couple to meet under the nose of Natalie's cuckold husband. Inept Sinclair is faithful to his wife and his work routine. A chatterbox of politeness, Sinclair's privileged upbring, beautiful homes, and class distance him from Natalie's insecurities. To make up for her shortcomings, she manipulates the game through her little brother, whose confidence is eroding under the spell of his sister's vacillation and sexual control.

    Superior performances by Alan Rickman (An Awfully Big Adventure) in easily one of his most sympathetic roles grounds the erotic performance of Clive Owen (Closer, Croupier), who is naked for extensive portions of the movie. They surround Saskia Reeve's performance with sufficient testosterone to overshadow the shortcomings of the secondary story line of Richard's boss who is dying of AIDS. Although meant to have social relevance, incest and AIDS seem an unlikely pairing.

    Perhaps it is the notion of the unspoken pariah status of its victims, or the rightness or wrongness of the sibling's actions that is never examined in depth which makes the film unsuccessful and somewhat dated. It is a weakness surrounding what motivates Natalie's disenchantment with her perfect situation, or why Richard is so drawn to his older sister that the audience is left to ponder. Unlike a Tennessee Williams story of forbidden excesses, Close My Eyes becomes an exercise in the boredom of river front living by a menage of shallow characters.
  • Really, man. When I saw this one I got interested in the plot (not to mention those exquisite nudity parts), and then I saw the excruciating ending, and I got just pleased.

    This movie is a worth watch only if you´re mature enough to understand the characters. (After all, I first didn´t)

    I sure wish they would play this again on TV....
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I may be biased in favor (in that I am no moralist and I think it deserves sympathy) but I did read all these excellent reviews before watching the movie, and found "Close My Eyes" an exceptionally sympathetic treatment of a taboo topic.

    As a sociologist I got the impression this is not so much a movie "about incest" or "about infidelity" but more a study about the balance of power in romantic relationships, and especially about a woman's self-empowerment at the expense of 2 men by exercising her agency, taking hard decisions that may not be considerate or very well controlled, but are extremely assertive in that she refuses to do anything she doesn't want to. She is also endearingly innocent in not understanding the future consequences of her self-serving actions. It is enough to reduce grown men to tears. Saskia R's powerhouse performance must be breaking hearts and creating new fans every day. God bless the internet!

    It is useless to debate the morality of incest or the ethicality of infidelity, though I dislike infidelity themed books and movies myself. Cinema is art not morals, and the performances of the 3 lead actors is extremely convincing, evoking strong emotions. The sexual tension is devastatingly acted out and literally "burns up the screen" but what shines through those dramatic events is the director's sensitivity and the great passion of the actors for their craft. That is precisely what makes "Close My eyes" great cinema, truly an excellent work!

    (Being no movie critic myself, I found the acting and the direction first-class and will give it the full 10 stars. Critics kindly excuse.)

    Spoiler alert:

    *

    *

    *

    Many reviews have offered the criticism that there was no proper reason for the sudden incestuous affair, but the protagonists provide extremely convincing explanations themself:

    (1) Richard: you used me to spice up your stagnating marriage with the excitement of incest, and make yourself strong, but now you no longer need me (paraphrase)

    (2) Natalie: there is no reason... maybe I've always fancied you. But I love you only as a brother. But you have become addicted to it and are beginning to love me as a lover. I need you as a friend. don't want this affair to continue (paraphrase -- meaning that there was no "deep emotion" leading to incest: she draws a clear line between love and lust, and won't leave her husband for her brother. Nor any guilt: the siblings enter a church to demonstrate this. Also, she ended the affair not because of incest but because she values her marriage more.)

    (3) Her husband tells them both in the last scene (paraphrase): there was something unusual and very powerful between you that needed purging. I don't want to know any more... Can't you feel the intensity gone down already? It's over.

    Since the dialogues are so explicitly clear we don't need to speculate about reasons ourself. These explanations make "Close My Eyes" a very articulate work. Thanks to all previous reviewers for giving me such a good conceptual basis before I saw this memorable film which packs a real emotional punch. Thanks too for reading my review!
  • When you watch this movie just let go. Let go like Tyler Durden had to in the crashing car driven by his imaginary friend. Placed in the ever-changing moment, it catches the lingering desire like no other and makes you crave for the inevitable, then delivers in a delayed , clumsy fashion, it is a rare display of cinematic rhythm. written and directed like a replay of a slow motion bullet, it is as spectacular as it is frightening, never straying from the rectilinear path of the barrel. This is Saskia Reves' only big cast and an electric starter for Clive Owen's phosphorous eyes. After decades they are still hidden like gold, particularly the former. You must see and hear her to believe!
  • Close My Eyes is a mild and genteel examination of sibling incest amid the London yuppie set and against the backdrop of riverside redevelopment along the Thames. Natalie Gillespie (Saskia Reeves) is an unhappy woman of working class roots. We know this from a quick moving opening sequence of brief scenes that covers five years of her dissatisfied love relationships whining to her ambitious sexy brother, Richard, who she is distanced in age and personality. Richard Gillespie (Clive Owens), is a studly young architect, outgoing unlike his sullen sister, and able to successfully pursue his intellectual and creative pursuits. After a shared late night kiss, reality was quickly passed over as simply cuddling until Natalie rekindles her relationship with the long absent brother dearest. Superior performances by Alan Rickman in easily one of his most sympathetic roles grounds the erotic performance of Clive Owen, who is naked for extensive portions of the movie. They surround Saskia Reeve's performance with sufficient testosterone to overshadow the shortcomings of the secondary story line of Richard's boss who is dying of AIDS. Although meant to have social relevance, incest and AIDS seem an unlikely pairing.

    The film is a study in contrasts and opposing forces: Alan Rickman's controlled, restrained performance is in total contrast to the fiery passion of the two lovers and the film's direct confrontation with taboos (incest, AIDS, open passion itself) slams against polite society's prevailing opinions. The film dares us to face what is difficult and deal with it in an open and honest way no matter what the consequences, no matter what anyone thinks. The film's solemn conclusion makes clear, however, that this shattering of taboos (what we are not supposed to openly discuss) is no easy accomplishment and involves the possibility of a breakdown in society or "the end of the world." But, the risk is worth it so that nothing is left hidden, so that all is out in the open, on the table, for discussion and acceptance.

    Overall rating: 8 out of 10.
  • Richard (Clive Owen) and his older sister Natalie (Saskia Reeves) are friend-like with some sexual tension. They grew up separately when their parents divorced. While Natalie flounders over the next few years, Richard becomes a success and a womanizer. Then she marries the wealthy business consultant Sinclair Bryant (Alan Rickman). Richard finds her changed under the domineering Sinclair. The siblings start a passionate affair together.

    It's a taboo subject done with sexuality and three great actors. The brother sister relationship is compelling and weirdly mesmerizing. It's a bit disturbing with the romantic tones. It's a twisted romantic melodrama. Clive and Saskia really sell this relationship.
  • gridoon28 March 2003
    "Close My Eyes" deserves credit for its unexploitive treatment of a highly charged subject matter. On the other hand, I found it just a bit dramatically monotonous. However, it's worth seeing for its sensitivity and its good acting. Alan Rickman, in particular, is very interesting in what could have easily been a thankless supporting part. (**1/2)
  • sonia_l9 September 1999
    Warning: Spoilers
    Incest is a terrible word, but at the same time let us feel something original and strange. The characters of the film looks like ordinary people, living a common life. This is the reason that make us feel so singular: Richard and Natalie loves each other and this love is real and authentic but impossible to realize. Not that impossible...Although in the end of the film they decide not to go on with this romance, they live this relationship for a while. Close the door and watch this film.
  • pekinman3 December 2004
    I expect this movie was made simply to shock or something, and perhaps it did in 1991 but now it's simply an interminable yawner. A primal no-no of screen writing is the over-use of time jumps, you know, when there is 1 minute of action then a flash on the screen telling is "two years later" etc. Too often this trick is used in this movie to cover awkwardness in the basic story and to cover gashes in the fabric of the script. This flick starts with several such devices. Time jumps can work if the script is top-drawer, which this one is not. It's basically a simple story of a cuckolded, self-absorbed imbecile and his neurotic, self-absorbed wife who is having it off with her rudderless, self-absorbed brother.

    All I can conclude after drifting through this mess is that it is a story of arrested development in a trio of unbelievably childish adults leading fantasy lives in chic settings.

    Worthwhile only for the photography and beautiful settings, houses, flats and parks along the Thames, not to mention the very attractive bodies of Saskia Reeves and Clive Owen, talented actors who are completely wasted as the two maddeningly inane and vapid leads. Alan Rickman can do little more than look befuddled and helpless as the wronged husband.

    It's all rather sick, but not because of the incest issue, which isn't really very shocking due to the ineptness of the script, but more so because of the abominable selfishness and stupidity of the characters. The motivation for the characters' behavior is highly confusing, besides, who cares anyway.

    Rubbish.
  • I rented this because I think Stephen Poliakoff is one of Britain's best story tellers. Clive Owen and Alan Rickman are good actors for which Rickman gets acclaim and Owen doesn't. Considering that the talent here was massive, this film is crap.

    Those who enjoyed it might like to think of the rest of us as prudes. I've appreciated films which I found distressingly unpleasant (i.e. Dans ma peau/In My Skin). Yet I don't find incest distressing. It's something with which I've no personal or second-hand experience. I'm not convinced that it's inherently harmful, when consensual, so I'm not going to judge it.

    The truth is that Poliakoff fell flat on his bum with this one. Some of the dialogue is worse than I'd expect from a second-rate Lifetime movie. I didn't understand (or feel as though I gained an understanding of) any of the characters or their motivations. Owen and Rickman gave good performances. Reeves was uneven, perhaps due to her having the most idiotic lines of the film, a la Harlequin. The direction and editing weren't very good either. I wonder if Mr Poliakoff was working with severe time limitations and was actually more concerned about the (now complete) development of the docklands (into something that resembles suburban American concentrations of office buildings with, arguably, no character, like Southfield and Troy here in SE Michigan) than telling a story about such uninteresting people.

    Unless you're wanting to spend money to see every last inch of Clive Owen, surely available somewhere on the internet, there isn't anything here that isn't done much better elsewhere.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After some years of tension, Richard begins a sexual relationship with his sister Natalie.

    Now married, the relationship proves dangerously obsessional.

    Their private intensity & working class origins contrast with the middle-class, stuffy public scenes we see in the Richmond world into which Natalie has moved with her marriage.

    As the guilt and intensity of the siblings increases, they seem to be heading for disaster, a foreboding which increases when husband Sinclair suspects her commitment.....

    Despite the taboo subject, Close my eyes isn't as hard to watch as you may expect. The film isn't very graphic, and it rather concentrates more on the class gap than the sexual tension.

    Owens obsession could have materialised due to the fact that they are drifting apart in class, Owen is still at his roots, whilst Reeves has moved up a notch since her marriage to Rickman.

    The film is also about taboo. Obviously the main plot point is taboo, but Poliakov References other things, such as the AIDS victim wanting to share a sandwich and the chap refusing, despite Owen taking a bite.

    The cast are fantastic, particularly Owen and Rickman, and the narrative is something to get lost in. The film has dated though, it has that Yuppie feel to it that was rife in the UK during the late eighties and early nineties, so it has this really strange cleanliness to it.

    So all in all, it's a terrific movie about class struggle and coming to terms with change, with the added plot point of incest.
  • The movie tells us about Richard and Natalie, a brother and a sister, who are having what could be called an 'affair'. When Natalie tries to end this and proposes to stay friends, Richard becomes aggressive. At the same time there appears another character, Richard's boss who has got AIDs and spends most of the time in the hospital. We also see Natalie's husband Sinclair, the only attractive character in the whole movie. I find the movie ridiculous. There is no general idea, no real plot, most characters are badly played and impossible to like. We never really find out what was the point of bringing in some things. The camera-work is however rather good and so is the music. The only reason to watch the movie again would be Alan Rickman as Sinclair - his good acting is even more obvious as compared to everybody else.
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