As A Closed Book begins, distinguished author Sir Paul is planning on writing his first book since a head injury that made him completely blind four years previously. In order to do this he needs a helper so he hires Jane Ryder, an intelligent but mysterious woman who agrees to live with him in his baroque mansion five days a week. Sir Paul is unsurprisingly a fussy, arrogant man who would likely be hard for anyone to deal with. Still, it's hard not to feel sympathy for him as it quickly becomes clear that Jane takes sadistic pleasure in deceiving him. This starts out harmlessly enough with lies about a jigsaw puzzle and made up news stories about the murder of Madonna and the suicide of O.J. Simpson but progresses into harmful territory as she begins to rearrange the furniture and leave books on the stairs. The last few minutes of the film involve some hastily applied twists that don't really give the viewer much of a chance to comprehend the way the situation has changed before the next one appears. As suspense thrillers go, this is pretty standard fare in the plot department.
Since this is a film by maverick auteur Raoul Ruiz the writing is naturally the least important part of the film; as usual his films rely on his unique sensibilities to succeed. For a Ruiz film A Closed Book is fairly low key: there are plenty of unusual angles and the frame tends to be filled with sumptuous details but the camera movements are standard save for the scene in which Jane brazenly tells Sir Paul nonsensical lies as the camera spins wildly directly overhead. There is also an emphasis on the house's architecture, particularly the baroque exterior with its spirals and turrets. A Closed Book is not a film that breaks new ground for Ruiz, in fact the style calls to mind all of the Ruiz films I've seen from the past decade or so including Time Regained, Comedy of Innocence, and That Day but his style is so rich that he could easily spend another twenty years working within it and not exhaust its possibilities.
Somewhat perversely for a film released this year, A Closed Book has already been released on R2 DVD. It's also worth noting that the film seems to have been universally judged by the least important aspect of this particular work: the script. This surely accounts for its absurdly low IMDb score (4.7 as of this writing) and the score of negative reviews it has received from critics who view it as a genre film.