Duplicity is supposedly a film about multinational corporate espionage but it is really another take on the con-artist film, which was perfected and never since bettered by George Roy Hill’s 1973 classic The Sting. The ‘con-artists’ in Duplicity are ex-CIA officer Claire Stenwick (Julia Roberts) and ex-MI6 agent Ray Koval (Clive Owen). When corporate titan Howard Tully (Tom Wilkinson) announces the upcoming launch of a new, mysterious super product, his rival Dick Garsik (Paul Giamatti) becomes determined to get to the product first. Enter Claire and Ray – they already have a rocky romantic and professional history and are now rival business spies. Or are they? Are they in fact both on the same side? Are they in fact now lovers trying to rip off both companies? Can writer/director Tony Gilroy (Michael Clayton) sustain the audiences’ interest in the series of light-hearted double-crossings and concealed motives that comprise most of Duplicity‘s running time?
With Solaris the diverse and talented director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Out of Sight) has commendably tackled the philosophical potential of the science fiction genre. George Clooney plays a psychiatrist who must question his understanding of reality after being sent to a space station to discover what has happened to the crew, only to find that his dead wife has inexplicably materialised from his memories of her.