Movies With Pole: Closer

I want that wig.

It’s that time again!!! A time when a movie that I added to my Netflix queue months ago (okay, more than a YEAR) ago, has finally arrived at my doorstep–long after I remember why I wanted to see it in the first place.

Yesterday, after several minutes of head scratching, I realized that I put Closer (which should be called “The Blower’s Daughter” due to serious abuse of that Damien Rice song) on my “must watch” list almost two years ago because I thought there would be some pole dancing in it. And I LOVES me some pole dance in mainstream movies. Even if I have to watch Lindsay Lohan act to get it.

So I guess what happened was, a lot of white boys wanted to see Natalie Portman’s ass, because I didn’t get this movie for a very long time. And though her ass was indeed formidable, Natalie’s pole debut left a bit to be desired (mainly in screen time).

Here we go:


Film: Closer

Star: Natalie Portman

Overall Movie Quality: You will probably find this movie very deep and intriguing, if you are a white man. If you are a woman, you may wonder why the female characters are thinly sketched objects almost entirely defined by their level of possession by the undesirable creeps that the plot centers around. (<end feminist rant>).

I would basically sum this film up as a catalog of pointless, first-world, self-created emotional pain that had me yelling WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO NATALIE PORTMAN, JUDE LAW at my laptop. Julia Roberts is drop dead though. Truth.

BAM. Points for flexibility, NP!

Dance Skills: (Out of 10): For the Famous Miss Portman, a 7 for pole technique, and a 4 for sensual movement. I’m going to be honest with you, there’s very small ratio of “pole time” to “Natalie Portman in a thong” time in this movie, which saddened me. (I’m probably the only person who had that reaction). She looked a little fast on the walk/transitions, but executed a clean back hook spin and a lovely half pirouette in her very limited pole time. Which was exactly all they showed. MOAR, Closer, I WANT MOAR.

Highlights: One of the background dancers does an inverted crucifix while another chick gracefully (but uncreatively) choppers and then… just… comes back down out of it. Womp womp. Oh, but Natalie Portman does something damn near close to a center split. Get it girl.

Lowlights: Natalie’s “dancing” scenes don’t involve much dancing, in lieu of walking around and bending over. Which is disappointing, because judging by her perfect technique on the spin/pirouette, she can CLEARLY be taught to pole.

Reality check: No breaches of reality here–the pole setups and costumes all seem to allow for proper poling. I do have a questions about whether a stripper can just flat out display her labia in a club, but, that’s a whole ‘nother issue, and not my area of expertise.

So how much of this was editing?: The movie does a lot of close ups on Natalie’s face for the dancing, then only gives us a full body angle for a single spin (the back hook)–which tells me she didn’t get much in the way of transition/floorwork instruction. Seeing as she learned fucking BALLET for Black Swan, I’m very disappointed in the wasted potential here. I think she would be an epic pole dancer.

My takeaway: I’m very curious about what Natalie’s full routine looked like before it was edited for the film. I did a little digging and found that a UK-based dancer and choreographer, Dana Mayer, choreo’d and taught her the routine, which was a month long process. Natalie had this to say about learning to pole in an interview with (a UK-based site whose reputability I’m not entirely sure of): “It was much, much more difficult than I expected. It was really, really intense. It takes a lot of upper body strength. You just watch it and it’s so sexy and you forget about all the strength and skill it takes.”

Yay! If you actually said that Natalie, thanks for the props!

Did you guys see this movie? Want to weigh in? Have any suggestions for movies to add to my queue? I think next stop on this tour is going to be The Bling Ring, because it’s already at my house.

OH, one final takeaway from this film, polewise: this grunge-lite song, which plays during NP’s first scene in the club. It is soundly dope. Enjoy!

Happy Twirls!

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