After his latest film is met with horrible reviews, Able Whitman sets out to prove the critics wrong by finding inspiration in his cast and crew. Sometimes great art requires great sacrifice- and the director always gets final cut!
Chelsea (Sasha Grey) is a high-priced $2,000-an-hour call girl in Manhattan, offering a 'girlfriend experience': she'll dress with the client in mind, go to dinner and a movie, listen attentively to talk about work and finances, and she'll provide sex. It's October, 2008: a presidential election nears and the economy is in free fall. She has a boyfriend, Chris (Chris Santos), who's a personal trainer. We are shown five non-consecutive days in Chelsea's life. She's working on her Web page, talking to image consultants, and being interviewed by a reporter. She asks clients when their birthdays are and uses that for an astrological prediction. She's drawn to a new client, a writer from L.A. Should she break her rules for him? What if it risks her relationship with Chris? Should she invest in gold? Written by
"Girlfriend experience" is a form of sex work (paid-for female companionship) in which a female prostitute behaves like a male client's girlfriend or shows (artificial) emotional intimacy beyond the sex act. See more »
On October 18th, I met with Dan. I wore a vintage black cashmere sweater, earnest sewn jeans, and Pour la Victoire boots. Dan talked the entire time. We didn't have sex. He was very upset about a contract his firm lost to I.M. PEI. He set another date for Tuesday, October 21st.
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After the end credits, there's a brief scene of Chelsea washing a client's hair as he sits in a bathtub and talks about John McCain. See more »
A brilliant little film, economic in its resources and smart in its complex editing. However, this is not destined to be a box office hit. It is the kind of film that Soderbergh does once in a while in-between pop flicks to avoid getting bored.
Sasha Grey delivers some good acting as an ambiguously shallow and ambitious prostitute who tries to survive the post-Obama post-Crisis world of depressed clients and worried boyfriend. Her relationship with her costumers and other professionals who are part of the escort world is built little by little in several out-of-order scenes. Most people will find the movie's timeline confusing, but all you have to do is pay attention to her wardrobe and everything will be fine.
I must also note the soundtrack, that makes use of very interesting unknown music. I specially liked the street drummer.
The images are beautiful enough to make one think "well, not bad for a movie shot on digital". Besides the old-school narrative (in the sense that it belongs more to the Bergman era than to the "Wolverine III" era) this movie looks and feels like the new kind of cinema that cheap digital shooting offers. And I like the way it feels.
IN A NUTSHELL: For Sasha Grey and Soderbergh fans and people who actually care about cinema language. If you like Soderbergh because of "Ocean's Eleven", stay away.
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