Review this movie
Jun 20, 2011How is this film so misunderstood? It's brilliant.
Duplicity is the flip side of writer/director Gilroy's somber Michael Clayton - a charming, adult corporate-espionage comedy that takes place in the high-stakes world of personal hygiene products.
This is a throwback movie in the style of To Catch a Thief, one that asks you to follow a complex plot without apologizing for it, and one which had me grinning from ear to ear through its entirety. As convoluted as it is, the plot is really inconsequential, as its stars carry the bulk of the charm this film has to offer. Instead of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly we get Clive Owen and Julia Roberts, and the two stars are a perfect fit together, with an easy chemistry and sparkling sexuality that is really the engine that runs Gilroy's ship. It's a blast to see a real adult movie in this day and age that has two romantic leads past the age of 40. Roberts is still beautiful and sexy, and her age just enhances the natural intelligence she always exuded. This is her best, most fun performance since Erin Brokovich. And as much as I love Daniel Craig in the role, we all know Clive Owen was born to play James Bond. In this film, he's delightfully roguish and sexy, but seemingly always a step or two behind Roberts' character. And George Clooney better look out if he wants to keep the title of "Best-looking Leading Man in a Suit."
This is the kind of movie that has agents passing secret information back and forth, others trying to lose tails, and even more eavesdropping on private conversations with hi-tech gadgets. Owens and Roberts are never quite sure of one another even while they're falling in love, and the main running joke through the movie is that they don't trust one another at all - and keep testing the other to prove their loyalty - or duplicity.
It co-stars Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti as the rival CEOs, and features a great two-scene performance by the very likable and funny Carrie Preston as a hapless travel agent who is taken in by Owens' charms. Tony Gilroy has become one of my favorite film makers of the last few years. He was an A-list screenwriter for quite awhile, with credits that include Dolores Claiborne, Armageddon, Proof of Life and the Jason Bourne movies. As a director he's done Michael Clayton and now Duplicity, and is obviously a hell of a talent. Like in his previous film, Gilroy jumps back and forth with the timeline until we're thoroughly, happily confused. And in a film that has double-crosses upon double-crosses, he throws a final triple-cross at us that we certainly do not see coming and throws the genres' conventions for a loop! Duplicity is a great film, period.… Expand
Smart, droll and dazzling to look at and listen to, writer-director Tony Gilroy's effervescent, intricately plotted puzzler proves in every way superior to his 2007 success "Michael Clayton."
The chemical combustion just isn't there between Julia and Clive, and you can't help wondering if Gilroy wrote this with George Clooney in mind. Still, a glamorous, diverting escapade that over-30s in particular can enjoy.