Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Giamatti. Comic crime caper. Written and directed by Tony Gilroy.
FILM SYNOPSIS: Oscarģ winner Julia Roberts and Clive Owen star as spies-turned-corporate-operatives in the midst of a clandestine love affair. When they find themselves embroiled in a high-stakes espionage game, they discover the toughest part of the job is deciding how much to trust the one you love.
CIA officer Claire Stenwick (Roberts) and MI6 agent Ray Koval (Owen) have left the world of government intelligence to cash in on the highly profitable cold war raging between two rival multinational corporations. Their mission? Secure the formula for a product that will bring a fortune to the company that patents it first. But as the stakes rise, the mystery deepens and the tactics get dirtier, the trickiest secret for Claire and Ray is their growing attraction. And as they each try to stay one double-cross ahead, two career loners find their schemes endangered by the only thing they canít cheat their way out of: love.
PREVIEW REVIEW: A non-linear film that jumps back and forth in time as it stealthily presents its caper and develops the steamy relationships, Duplicity keeps us hooked, both in an effort to follow its developments and to savor the roguish romance.
Mr. Owen possesses the magnetism of a Sean Connery and the intensity of Richard Burton, whereas Ms. Roberts pierces your imagination with an impassioned stare (sometimes cruel, often seductive). In other words, these are fun people to watch.
Aided by good story-telling, an imaginative if somewhat convoluted plot, a jaunty score reminiscent of the Oceanís 11, 12, and 13 movies, and savory performances, Duplicity is a fun movie outing. Alas, nearly every performer profanes Godís name Ė and often. I keep wondering, isnít there any actor in Hollywood sensitive to this wrongdoing? Isnít there anyone in charge of the major studios who thinks using Christís name as an expletive might insult Christians or the angels above? And why is it we canít seem to get that message across to media mavens?
DVD Alternatives: Topkapi. Comic thriller about international group of would-be thieves who plan the perfect heist. Peter Ustinov, Melina Mercouri, Maximillian Schell, Robert Morley, Akim Tamiroff.
To Catch a Thief. A reformed burglar (Cary Grant) must capture a copycat or go to prison. Beautiful Grace Kelly aids him. Superb Alfred Hitchcock film.
Princess Caraboo. A mysterious woman convinces the British well-to-dos that she is a princess from a far-off land. A most entertaining film, based on a true story. Phoebe Cates, Kevin Kline.
Mr. & Mrs. Smith. A screwball comedy by Hitchcock? Yep, and itís a classic. Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard star as a bickering couple who discover that their marriage isnít legal. Great dialogue without todayís quota of crudeness.
His Girl Friday. Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell and a superb supporting cast. Not enough can be said about this 4-star screwball comedy. A battle of the sexes where no one loses. She's a reporter wanting to get married and leave the newspaper business. He's her editor and ex-husband who has no intention of letting a good reporter get away.