Clive Owen recieved his first Oscar nomination for portraying Larry Gray in Closer.
Clive Owen portrays one of these four miserable people a dermatologist who is rather cheeky to say the least. He is not supporting of the other three and really all four actors are lead in this film. This is a performance that a lot of people love, but I can't really join that love for this performance, although I will agree that Clive Owen does give the best performance in the film by far. The problems in the performance though come from the overall chemistry with the rest of the cast really.
I do think one aspect of the character Owen does nail is the bluntness of the character. Out of any other character one can argue he is technically the most honest, even if that makes him seem sort of crueler. Owen does have just the right clear and concise fashion in which he speaks and acts. Owen shows that with Larry he just says things the way he sees them, does exactly what he wants, and will always admit his motivations to be exactly what they are.
Owen has the right directness in his performance that shows the exactly zero inhibitions Larry has when it comes to his life. My problems with performance comes with his chemistry with the rest of the cast not so much with Jude Law as his perpetual rival their mutual dislike for one another is appropriately shown with always a certain underlying intensity between the two in their scenes together. It is really his chemistry with Julia Roberts, and Natalie Portman that I have an issue with.
With Julia Roberts I really did not feel there was much of anything between the two, since I never really saw either actor convey enough of a passion with one another for me to honestly believe their relationship. They are suppose to instantly hit off so much that they are soon married, but aside from Owen being slightly charming their is not a strong enough purpose for it. There is not enough of love or lust shown between the two, making the relationship seem quite underwhelming between the two.
This is also true for his scenes with Natalie Portman particularly in their later scenes with he is suppose to be lusting after here. Owen most certainly tries his best, but there never is a great enough drive in their scenes together to make sense of his intense lust, and even Owen's lust was never quite intense as it really should have been. This is hardly a bad performance though and it certainly has strong aspect, but on a whole it is really less than it should have been.