Dir. Tony Gilroy. 2009. PG-13. 125mins. Clive Owen, Julia Roberts, Tom Wilkinson.
For Duplicity, writer-director Tony Gilroy drops the pretense that marred his previous effort, the dreary corporate-greed parable Michael Clayton. He lets his stars, Owen and Roberts, be stars, as opposed to puffed-up symbolic vehicles projecting depths they don’t contain. George Clooney couldn’t carry the silent extended take that ended Clayton—profundity was forced on him and he shot back vacuity. Owen and Roberts have no such problems with this much more lightweight offering, a sort of Thomas Crown Affair triple cross as filtered through a comic-existentialist prism.
More than once, Gilroy evokes the long-shot ennui that characterized many a 1960s art film—the final image, in particular, is a…