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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forbidden Passion
Atmospheric yet strangely detached British film about an adult brother and sister who, after several years of separation, embark on an illicit sexual affair one summer. Natalie (Saskia Reeves) has always felt in the shadow of her younger, more self-confident, successful sibling Richard (Clive Owen) and is bored in her marriage to the rich, eccentric, upper-class Sinclair...
Published on 17 Mar 2009 by The Bookworm

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic trip
I probably shouldn't buy a film simply because I'm drawn to the memories of the London it captures from my youth - but that's what's motivating me. I saw the film back in the 80s and it was very much of its time in the sense of the development of Docklands (where I worked at that time) and also the very beautiful scenes filmed along the Thames in weather that was pretty...
Published on 13 Sep 2012 by Mrs. S. D. R.


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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forbidden Passion, 17 Mar 2009
This review is from: Close My Eyes [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
Atmospheric yet strangely detached British film about an adult brother and sister who, after several years of separation, embark on an illicit sexual affair one summer. Natalie (Saskia Reeves) has always felt in the shadow of her younger, more self-confident, successful sibling Richard (Clive Owen) and is bored in her marriage to the rich, eccentric, upper-class Sinclair (Alan Rickman- who provides welcome comic relief in an otherwise quite serious and brooding film). At first the siblings reignite the friendship they lost when they were separated, but their physical attraction is obvious and Natalie begins to instigate a full-blown affair. The last two thirds of the film deal with the emotional fallout as Richard starts to be become obsessed with his sister, and the balance of power in their relationship shifts.

Poliakoff's film deserves credit for its serious, adult approach to a difficult subject. It's also well-photographed and has a subtext about the cold urban redevelopment of London and the stiff conformity of modern life, from which the lovers are, in part, escaping. However, for me, the script (also by Poliakoff) fails to really get to the bottom of the relationship, and its attempt to be something more than a psychosexual drama falls a bit short. Clive Owen is good in an early role, and the whole film looks good visually, but I just felt something was missing, and the climax is something of a cop-out.

There are some blistering sex scenes, which show the incestuous affair in all its shocking glory, and some nice bits of humour to level things out, but overall the script just doesn't do the subject justice. Still, it's one of the better, more realistic films to have tackled incest and a good British film of its era.

This DVD reissue has interviews with the director and members of the cast, which are thorough and interesting.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I've eaten all the food, 9 July 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: Close My Eyes [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
One of my favourite films. I loved it when it first came out and couldn't wait to buy it on DVD. I wasn't disappointed. It was just as good as I remembered. Great performances, beautifully filmed and set during a hot, hot summer. Also there are good interviews with the cast.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars English cinema at its best, 3 Nov 2006
This review is from: Close My Eyes [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
This is an overlooked gem of British cinema. Perhaps thanks to its controversial plot it is branded controversial and yet it is a thoughtful and thought provoking film as well as being a master class in cinematography : London has never looked so good.

The atmosphere of late 1980s / early 1990s Britain is, for better or for worse, captured perfectly by Poliakoff's film and his three leads are uniformly superb. Rickman who, having read the original script, was an odd choice for Sinclair is as compelling as ever while Saskia Reeves and Clive Owen are brilliantly convincing. The supporting cast - especially Karl Johnson - is excellent as well.

In retrospect the plot is fantastically prescient and the added attraction for anyone who has worked in or knows the City of London is the choice of locations (Broadgate Centre, Finsbury Circus, the Docklands, etc).

There are very early examples of Poliakoff's quirky cinematic trademarks (the opening scene of the punks on the bowling green with the little girl, the later brief scene of the down and out in Broadgate Circus drinking the dregs of wine from abandoned glasses) and the incidental music achieves the rare feat of adding to and not detracting from the film's ambience.

For those of us who have been disappointed by his recent work this is a reminder of what Poliakoff can produce.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real joy to watch - a delightful summer in England, 22 Dec 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Close My Eyes [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
This is a great film to stumble across. I watched it recently to see Clive Owen (having seen his performance in "Closer") and was very pleased with what I found. The plot, direction, casting and acting is first rate. The subject is risque however and as a result, the film was a flop when it was released. However, time has been very kind to it. What almost steals the show are the location shots themselves. England has never looked so beautiful. Stunning shots of the countryside, country houses and villages during a wonderfully hot summer are great. For historical reasons, the vast amount of footage in the Docklands and east London are brilliant too as it shows the area being developed at the beginning of the 90s. For those people living in the area now, it will be a very interesting record.
Effort should be made to go out of your way to see this.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful drama, 30 Oct 2006
By 
I was so pleasantly surprised to find "Close my eyes" a gorgeous, gripping movie. The performances of the three leads are superb and very natural, and the scenery and cinematography is a real treat for the eyes.

The script was so good that I looked in vain everywhere to see if there was a book to buy as well.

I loved it so much that I bought the DVD after i bought the VHS.

This is the kind of movie that stays with you after you see it.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Close My Eyes, by Stephen Poliakoff, 23 Sep 2004
This review is from: Close My Eyes [DVD] [1991] (DVD)
Upon reading the synopsis for this film, I thought, another "Cement Garden." The stories are quite similar, but both handle the delicate and sensitive subject of interest with different yet both superb ways.
Close My Eyes has a more mature cast, and whether or not this leads to a less horrified reaction, it certainly leads to an intriguing plot and proves the point that falling in love is something we cannot control. This story is treated with an intensity so great, you will be gripped to your seat until the very end, and will still want more then too...
The cast are great, Alan Rickman is his usual superb self, and Saskia Reeves and Clive Owen bring an onscreen spark between them that could almost be real.
I highly recommend this to any real film fan, it is a must see!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephen Poliakoff's "Close My Eyes", 19 Aug 2011
By 
Phil C (Nuneaton, Warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Close My Eyes [DVD] (DVD)
Ignoring the "shock horror" aspects of a story about brother/sister incest (which I think is handled with tact and restraint), this is such a beautifully-shot film which works on every level: I saw it first years ago, and my basic feelings about it haven't changed - I've never seen a film before or since that is so evocative of the feel of late summer, it takes someone with Poliakoff's talent to show us that what we take for granted is glorious in it's own right. Then he adds a top-notch story with a top-notch cast - it's a surefire hit that anyone who isn't judgemental about the subject matter can enjoy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Film, 15 July 2012
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This review is from: Close My Eyes [DVD] (DVD)
Just an example of total skill and craft, everything from the complex story to the exceptional cast and directing works to perfection. A film one will never tire of watching.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic trip, 13 Sep 2012
This review is from: Close My Eyes [DVD] (DVD)
I probably shouldn't buy a film simply because I'm drawn to the memories of the London it captures from my youth - but that's what's motivating me. I saw the film back in the 80s and it was very much of its time in the sense of the development of Docklands (where I worked at that time) and also the very beautiful scenes filmed along the Thames in weather that was pretty miraculous for them to have managed. The film is visually a pleasure but the subject matter is a bit uncomfortable and the tensions between brother and sister a bit implausible - you can only get away with such illustrations of passion if there is a real pull between the actors playing the roles which there clearly isn't here. Alan Rickman seems oddly out of place but he lifts the film and yes, it's a film worth watching and relaxing with.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of British, 17 April 2013
By 
Pete Johnson "Pete Johnson" (Norfolk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Close My Eyes [DVD] (DVD)
Every so often, the British do a fantastic drama, and this is undoubtedly one of them. We are treated to the once-lovely Saskia Reeves,(sorry, Ms Reeves) hunky Clive Owen, and Alan Rickman being Alan Rickman, but less angry. There is a wonderful summer in suburban London, and a difficult subject, incest, dealt with beautifully. Any fan of the work of Stephen Poliakoff will know what to expect here, and they will not be disappointed. The script, production, direction, and editing, are all but faultless. There is also the brilliant Lesley Sharpe to enjoy, and not a bad performance from anyone in the stellar cast. A complete gem, and perfectly British.
It additionally serves as a historical snapshot of 1980's London, with the emerging Docklands, and the booming economy as a backdrop.
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