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Close My Eyes
Close My Eyes
Actors: Alan Rickman, Clive Owen, Saskia Reeves, Karl Johnson, Lesley Sharp
Director: Stephen Poliakoff
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
R     2003     1hr 47min


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Movie Details

Actors: Alan Rickman, Clive Owen, Saskia Reeves, Karl Johnson, Lesley Sharp
Director: Stephen Poliakoff
Creators: Witold Stok, Stephen Poliakoff, Michael Parkinson, Thérèse Pickard
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance
Studio: Henstooth Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 10/14/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 47min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 30
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Open Your Eyes To a Fiery and Passionate Film
cdset | Saylorsburg, PA United States | 06/25/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"One can view the brilliant and overlooked "Close My Eyes" on a number of levels. One could look at it as the story of an incestuous affair, the pain and despair of unquenched passion, the shattering of taboos, or the story of an unfulfilled woman searching for something about which to be passionate. Each level enriches and deepens the message of the other and creates a thought-provoking film of fiery intensity.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. "Close My Eyes" is a powerhouse of passionate, riveting acting, Merchant and Ivory like cinematography, and incisive, perceptive writing."
A Disturbing Fin-de-siecle Romance
cdset | 08/26/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A deeply disturbing film about an obsessive, destructive affair between a brother & sister at the end of the twentieth century. Saskia Reeves gives a powerful, deeply moving performance as the sister who is unable to resist the desire she feels for her brother. Rickman is, as always, brilliant. The film is especially interesting for its use of colour--lurid & grotesque one moment; lyrical & pastoral the next. The final shot of the film is quietly apocalyptic & elevates the story beyond the specificities of the affair. An important, often-overlooked film from fin-de-siecle Britain."
Sibling Lust Against the London Architectural Revival Dust
azindn | Arizona, USA | 06/23/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"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 (Truly, Deeply, Madly; 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."
Close My Eyes
Emily R. Jarrell | Newport News, VA United States | 04/17/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I watched this with a strange fascination, unable to turn away but sure wanting to. I never would have seen it if it didn't have Clive Owen in it, but I really think Saskia Reeves was great too, and would love to see more of her work. I feel that Natalie (Reeves) was an unhappy person in general and her brother happened to be handy and easily manipulated into their affair. When she decides to move on Richard (Owen) is having none of it. Sinclair (Alan Rickman) is oblivious at first, but comes across quite ominus when he becomes aware what is going on. Due to the content it is DEFINITELY not recommended for kids, but if you can remember it's only a movie and they are not real brother and sister, it's a really good movie."