Backing up a bit, we find out early on that Ray and Claire have a history. He picked her up at a party; she got the upper-hand after a night in bed, drugged him, stole a secret document and left him without saying good-bye. Ray's had it out for Claire ever since. But things are not as they seem. Ray and Claire are both looking to cash in on the rivalry between the multinational corporations, which leads to much double-dealing, double-crossing, and some juicy romantic encounters.
The CastIn Closer, Clive Owen and Julia Roberts played a married couple with major relationship issues. That film, directed by Mike Nichols, had Owen and Roberts playing angry and suspicious. This film lets the chemistry between Owen and Roberts shine through. Given some real saucy dialogue and a chance to partake in some old school pillow talk, Owen and Roberts are entertaining and engaging.
In supporting roles, Giamatti and Wilkinson make for believable ruthless corporate heads who'll stop at nothing to get the drop on their primary competitors. Also helping to sell this tale of rival spies at rival companies are Lisa Roberts Gillan, Dan Daily, Oleg Stefan, Denis O'Hare, Tom McCarthy, and Carrie Preston. Preston (True Blood) steals a scene right from under Julia Roberts in one of the film's funnier moments.
The Bottom LineThe setting could have been banking (but Owen just did that in The International) or any other milieu in which major corporations play high-stakes games of one-upmanship. The fact Duplicity is set in the world of cosmetics only serves to make the set-up that much funnier.
Duplicity is fast-paced, a little confusing, but ultimately a decent new entry in the lengthy list of con-man films.
Duplicity was directed by Tony Gilroy and is rated PG-13 for language and some sexual content.
Theatrical Release Date: March 20, 2009