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Monday, April 27, 2009


Rated: PG-13 for language and some sexual content
Runtime: 2 mins 5 secs
Genre: Dramas
Theatrical Release:Mar 20, 2009
Wide Box Office: $36,847,445

Review :
Tony Gilroy’s follow-up to Michael Clayton certainly carries the star power, which is likely to draw more attention than the fact Clayton was nominated for Best Picture (and six other categories) and won Tilda Swinton an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.Gilroy staked his claim in Hollywood writing the script for The Bourne Identity and has since become a highly influential filmmaker even though he may not already be a household name.
With Julia Roberts and Clive Owen in tow for Duplicity Gilroy has put together an intriguing story that entertains even though it is a bit clunky at times with an abundance of flashbacks, a running time that tops two hours and could have certainly been tightened up a bit and an ending that just barely misses its mark.The marketing for this film is a bit deceiving as it led me to believe it was something of a screwball comedy, and while it does have its comedic moments they come about as a matter of scripted circumstance and not as a result of forced pratfalls. Roberts and Owen star as a CIA agent and a member of Britain’s MI6 respectively and the two find themselves working together all while the interests of big business CEOs played by Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson hang in the balance.
To tell you anymore would ruin the surprise and I suggest you stay clear of any additional articles, reviews or footage of this film should you be interested in the slightest, it could only hurt your chances of going in fresh. Plenty of attention is already being placed on Duplicity as it is a comeback of sorts for Julia Roberts as she is certainly the bigger name star when paired with Clive Owen whose stardom is limited at best here in the States. Now at the age of 41, Roberts certainly looks a bit different from her days as a rom-com lead throughout the ’90s, but she still has the charm and smile that won over audiences back then and she surprisingly fits quite nicely into the role of a CIA agent, much better than I expected she would. Alternatively, Owen, to no surprise, fits his role of an MI6 agent with ease and his banter back and forth with Roberts is the exact opposite from their last pairing in Closer. Their conversations are playful and considering their character’s spy backgrounds the story trends toward mistrust more often than not and it plays well within the storyline as well as adding an intriguing element to their relationship, which at the same time keeps the audience on their toes. While the flashbacks I mentioned in the opening did bother me, I will admit once the scenes begin it is typically a winning moment. It’s just the continued bounce out of the present day story that becomes distracting and monotonous even though story details are revealed each time around. Overall Duplicity is a fun, smart and sleek flick that could have been tightened up a bit, but it is enough fun to watch the characters on screen as the story plays out, even if, by the end, you aren’t entirely satisfied with Starring: Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Giamatti, Dan Dailey, Lisa Roberts Gillan, David Shumbris, Rick Worthy, Denis O'Hare, Tom McCarthy

Synopsis :

DUPLICITY is a slick, Soderberghian 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... DUPLICITY is a slick, Soderberghian 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. Two rival CEOs (played by the always fantastic Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti) are battling for the top spot in their industry, and a top-secret new product would determine who would wear the crown. But this isn’t just about business innovation and profit: Claire and Ray have a plan that would help them get the prized formula and walk away with millions. Tony Gilroy’s previous work as screenwriter and director--namely the Jason Bourne films and MICHAEL CLAYTON--didn’t give any indication that he could create something this bouncy and light. But while DUPLICITY is fun, it’s never dumb; it jumps back and forth in time with style, playing an elaborate game that its scheming lead characters would be proud of. As Ray and Claire, Owen and Roberts display the same fiery chemistry that they showed in the gut-punching romantic drama CLOSER, but this time, they play (mostly) nice. If DUPLICITY can draw comparison to the classic genre bender CHARADE, then it’s not a stretch to liken Owen to Cary Grant--he has an easy charm that ensnares not only each woman in the film but everyone in the audience as well.

Director: Tony Gilroy

Screenwriter: Tony Gilroy

Producer: Jennifer Fox, Kerry Orent, Laura Bickford

Composer: James Newton Howard

Studio: Universal Pictures



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