1991-2000DramaStephen PoliakoffUnited Kingdom

Stephen Poliakoff – Close My Eyes (1991)


Incest, architecture and messing about on the river in Stephen Poliakoff’s frank, challenging and taboo-flaunting London drama. Separated as pre-teens when their parents divorced, Natalie (Saskia Reeves) and Richard (Clive Owen) meet again after years apart. The unthinkable happens and the siblings embark on an affair. Matters come to a head when Natalie’s husband, the wealthy and eccentric Sinclair (Alan Rickman), invites Richard on a family picnic and confides to his brother-in-law that he suspects his wife is being unfaithful.

If anyone can pull off a drama with such an awkward subject matter it is prolific playwright-director Stephen Poliakoff, who deals with the issue of incest frankly but with un-judgemental sensitivity. His cause is helped by a couple of magnetic performances by Owen and Rickman (who, unusually, plays a quite likeable character). The film also evocatively captures southwest London and the leafy upper reaches of the Thames.

As with Poliakoff’s TV dramas (such as ’Perfect Strangers’), Close My Eyes features a couple of subplots that remain unresolved but the main storyline is intense, erotic and strange enough to keep you hooked. – Channel 4 Film Review



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