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Duplicity

Year: 2009
Studio: Universal
Director: Tony Gilroy
Writer: Tony Gilroy
Cast: Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, Paul Giamatti, Tom Wilkinson, Denis O'Hare

Tony Gilroy brings a very strong Ocean's Eleven vibe to this movie about corporate espionage. He wants it to be about beautiful people in nice clothes doing sexy things with very high stakes, and succeeds.

Ray (Owen) and Claire (Roberts) have been crossing paths for years since he was MI6 and she was CIA. They ended up in bed at a garden party in the Middle East and over the course of the ensuing years they've gone freelance (where the money is) and hatched the ultimate scam to fleece both the cosmetic companies they work for and the respective charismatic CEOs (Giamatti and Wilkinson, both having great fun).

We learn the truth about their liaison in gradual layers as the film shows us flashbacks of the plan coming together, and while most of the movie behaves and moves as you'd expect - but is no less watchable for it - it's the ending that will sucker punch you.

I won't give it away except to remind you that this is a movie about professional double crossers and Gilroy delights in peeling back the multiple layers of deception gradually, when it suits him. You just know he's going to save the best for last.

Even though Owen is firmly A list, I still can't see what people like about him. To me, he never seems to fit this leading man mould so many directors have put him in.

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