The good news is that with new digital technology, it is easier than ever to make a movie and anyone can be a filmmaker. The bad news is that with new digital technology, it is easier than ever to make a movie and anyone can be a filmmaker. What is truly tragic about the indie film, Closure, is that it has an ember of a good idea. It feels like a solid first draft. Unfortunately, director/writer Alex Goldberg rushed into production without refining his ideas into anything worth watching.
The story focuses on Nina, a young lady who comes to LA from the Midwest after the death of her mother. Her mother’s dying request was that Nina finds her sister. With only her last address, Nina stumbles headlong into the mystery of her sister’s disappearance, and a collection of “wacky” Angelenos.
“Her mother’s dying request was that Nina finds her sister…”
Don’t get me wrong. I love a good genre-bender as much, or even more than the next pretentious film snob. But this is just a disjointed mess that doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. Careening mercilessly from mediocre film noir to painfully unfunny sitcom; Closure left me with the fatigue, dizziness, and restricted range of motion that comes from whiplash.
The characters of Closure are less a cast and rather a collection of one-dimensional stereotypes of Los Angeles residents. Stereotypes that straddle the line of lazy writing and bigoted caricature. You have the hippie-dippy yoga enthusiasts. You have the polyamorous couple with the weird diet. And you have the gay man who loves dancing, singing, doing drugs and (of course) Judy Garland. Oh and we all drive a Prius. Every one of us. Without exception.
After seeing his hot take on the strange land of Los Angeles, I can’t wait to hear Alex Goldberg’s hot take on airline food or the differences between men and women.
‘It is not all bleak. The actors try their best to shine through…”
This is a painful movie to watch, and I can only assume it was given to me because I have said or done something to offend my editor (EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, this is correct!). Whatever it was, I am truly sorry and beg his forgiveness. Shot with all the art and nuance of a corporate training video, the whole “movie” looks flat and static. Closure is devoid of any movement; one can only assume that cinematographer Senda Bonnet has a pathological fear of taking the camera off the tripod.
It is not all bleak. The actors try their best to shine through. They are clearly giving everything they can to this material. Unfortunately, there isn’t much there for them to grab on to. And so they are floundering in a sea of vacuous nonsense. The actors are given nothing more than one-dimensional outlines that never develop into people. There is nothing to any character beyond what you see in their first introduction. Ok, that’s not fair. There is one character twist, but you see it coming from a mile off.
In the end, Closure is a mystery devoid of any suspense, and a comedy devoid of any laughs. I cannot encourage you enough to avoid this film at all costs.
Closure (2019) Directed by Alex Goldberg. Written by Alex Goldberg. Starring Cynthia Addai-Robinson, Milena Govich, Catia Ojeda, John Sloan, Marcelo Tubert, Dee Wallace
1 out of 10