The stripper that doesn’t strip

It seems Closer, the play, is getting the cobwebs brushed off and is coming back to the stage. In this reporting of the news from the Dallas Observer, they say the following about Natalie:

Natalie Portman is smart. You gotta give her that. She went to Harvard, got straight A’s, etc. But sometimes that chick confuses me. For instance, in the movie Closer (2004), she played a petite stripper who, get this, didn’t strip. No nudity whatsoever. But then in Wes Anderson’s 2007 short film Hotel Chevalier, in which Portman played a petite girl in a hotel room, she did strip. Nudity was everywhere. Where’s the logic in that? I guess even a bona fide Harvard education doesn’t help much in conundrums involving nudity.

This is a complaint that comes up every now and then and it drives me nuts every time. Playing a stripper that doesn’t strip would admittedly be pretty ridiculous, but I don’t know what version other people are watching because on my DVD the character DOES strip for Clive. What people really mean is that WE don’t get to see “the goods” and if you feel that way, fine, but then just say that.

“I didn’t get to see Natalie’s boobs. Boo Hoo.”

Instead people put this revisionist spin on it and now suddenly the character was dressed in a burka and the film suffered as a result. I remember when I first heard that the stripping scenes were somewhat toned down, I was also a bit skeptical. But when I saw the film I felt that the scene really works well. I actually think that overt nudity might have taken something (like the attention of every male out there) away from what is really great about the scene (and the film in general) – the dialogue.

If you want to get your nudity pitchforks out, then do so for this unnecessarily neutered scene from V for Vendetta.