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The Clive Owen Bio

The Clive Owen Review –

by Nate Lee



This would be anyone's best film, but his Golden Globe win and Oscar nomination prove what is clear in the film, that even with three of the hottest stars and best actors, Clive is the one who propels the gritty truth at the heart of this double double-crossing of lovers. (Of course, he had practice, as he was in the original West End production of the play.)

Great Performances You May Not Have Seen:
The Boys are Back (a recently widowed guy figuring out fatherhood in a rather offbeat way)
The Croupier (the break-out title role)
Bent (prisoner of war, Max)
Gosford Park (Altman's splendid ensemble piece)
Sin City (one of Tarantino's best-elicited performances)
Shoot 'em Up
Bourne Identity (assassin hired to bring down Matt Damon)
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (Sir Walter Raleigh)
Duplicity (splendid spy vs spy vs lover vs lover with Julia Roberts)
The International (an Interpol agent out to expose a corrupt international bank)
King Arthur (Arthur)
Inside Man (the bank-robbing mastermind)
The Real Clive Owen:
The Croupier

Certainly, Owen is more giving than the croupier Jack/Jake, and not corrupt. But there is an air of a man who, while moving in upper-class circles, refuses to part completely with his rough-edged past.
Acting Style:
One minute, he's the British equivalent of Chicago's Steppenwolf (i.e. Malkovich and Sinise), barely containing a powerful rage. The next, he's the British George Clooney or the new James Bond (he didn't want the role), a sophisticated classical actor who studied at the Royal Academy and played Romeo at the Young Vic. All in all, it's a refreshing change, at least for American audiences. After decades of the most refined male British imports, actors like Daniel Craig (who seems to channel Steve McQueen) and Clive Owen bring a palpable excitement to the screen.
Bits and Quirks:
A penetrating stare, all the stronger because his light-blue eyes seem incongruous in the middle of a rugged, dark face. A dangerous stare, sometimes matched with a whisper. A deadpan stare, while talking super calmly.
Great Scenes:
Inside Man

> Thoroughly engaging throughout
> The "pay attention" speech at the beginning straight to the camera
> "Negotiating" with Jodie Foster
> Bumping into Denzel at the end
> The reveal of the hiding place
> The "don't I seem calm to you" phone call

Children of Men

> Walking through the waves of soldiers with the girl and the baby
> Seeing the pregnant girl
> Escaping from the farmhouse with a car that stalls
> Delivering the baby
> Hanging out with Michael Caine


> Every scene is "money"
> Flirting with Natalie Portman in the gallery
> With Natalie in the strip club
> Breaking up with Julia Roberts, letting his crassness come through full force
> Seeing Jude Law in his office, messing with his mind


> Auditioning for the dealer role
> Dealing progressively better hands at his friend's party
> Fighting and being rescued by Bella

The Bourne Identity

> An assassin's dance of death with Matt Damon
> His dying confessional conversation with Damon

Go to the... Clive Owen Bio