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Chloe is a solid erotic/romantic thriller, that keeps the viewer
interested and invested throughout, even if it's pretty predictable -
the big twist at the very end can be figured out around the middle of
the film. Still - as can be expected from Atom Egoyan, the film has
strong atmosphere, excellent cinematography, superb acting (Liam Neeson
and Julianne Moore are both terrific) and a semi-open ending that
leaves room for speculation and interpretation.
Having said all that, it's a weak film by Egoyan's standard. It's the first time he directed a film with somebody else's script, and it shows. The characters aren't as complex and fleshed-out as Egoyan's usually are; more importantly, the relationships between them (which were the strongest focal point of The Sweet Hereafter and Exotica) lack conviction. Like Egoyan's other films, it deals with sexuality, intimacy and detachment, but in a more superficial way. Chloe feels like a remake of a French erotic thriller - which is what it is - more than an Egoyan film. It's enjoyable, entertaining and gripping, but not as deep as his other works.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was rather taken with Atom Egoyan's Chloe until I read that it is a
remake of a French film called Nathalie, which was released as recently
as 2003. And that rather took the sheen off it for me. The premise is
interesting, though a tad far-fetched - wife believes her husband is
cheating on her and hires a high-class call-girl to tempt him into
further indiscretion so that she has solid evidence - and it does all
sound rather French and 'sophisticated', but Egoyan's execution keeps
up the suspense. Yet why bother with a remake? Doesn't the man have
enough ideas of his own? I haven't seen Nathalie so I don't know
whether or not Egoyan adds anything. My guess is that he doesn't.
Chloe (and, I suppose, Nathalie, although as I haven't seen it, I can't comment) is one of those films whose impact tends to evaporate within minutes of the final moments. You could argue that, essentially, a film is not obliged to go anything else but entertain for the duration, and Chloe most certainly does that. But the films we remember and chose to watch again are those whose impact does linger and which, occasionally, gives us an insight we didn't before have. On that score Chloe must settle for a round nul points. I would argue that in view of what we are presented with for three-quarters of the film - professional woman discovers to her surprise that she rather likes swinging both ways and might well have engineered the whole 'my husband is cheating on me' scenario to allow herself an hour or two of sapphic pleasure - we are entitled to an insight or two. But we don't get them. Chloe ends - after an unforeseen and somewhat contrived shock - on a rather bathetic note and does so all too suddenly. Given Egoyan's reputation as something of a highbrow director dude, that means Chloe is a miss. And given that it is a remake, it must rank as a double miss. But don't necessarily let that put you off.
Chloe rattles along quite nicely in its own way and watching two attractive women making out doesn't distress you (and it didn't distress me) and if you are content with one or two other scenes of soft porn, Chloe fits the bill. But chalk it up as an entertaining night in with a bottle of wine rather than anything brighter. And remember that it is a remake. I rather suspect the original Nathalie, given the very French nature of the story, was rather better.
There was something about the way this film began, husband missing flight home for admittedly 'surprise' birthday party because he is having a drink with one of his students. Something clunky and seemingly predictable about the whole proceeding and then a prostitute is hired to see if husband would seduce her. Can it get more daft? Well, it can and it does, even if some twists change things up a bit. Julianne Moore can act but I've never been a fan and here at 49 it is simply unfair to have her compared to the young (and lovely) Amanda Seyfried all the time. Liam Neeson does no more than he usual seems to to make things realistic and believable and the 'mixed up son' (director Egoyan's alter ego, I suspect) is just too young and too inexperienced for such a difficult and underwritten role. The fairly explicit and frequent sex scenes are OK but the trouble is we are almost wishing not to see them, so unlikely and unbelievable are they.
A married doctor wife suspects that her professor husband is cheating
on her, so she hires a young prostitute to lure him and see what will
happen. The results are far from what she was expecting.
Julianne Moore gives a stellar performance in the character of a troubled wife and Liam Neeson is more hansom than usual. Amanda Seyfried as the titular character seems OK but other actresses could have done better.
The film has a sensual feel (and some nudity and sex scenes) and the music works towards that direction.
You keep guessing what will happen next, and if the movie take a 180o turn at any point. There are some "surprises" so to speak but overall the ending disappoints.
It is good for a nightly viewing before sleep but It could have been so much more...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Good old Hollywood. They've taken the dull and mildly offensive French
film "Nathalie" and turned it into something even more conservative and
In "Nathalie" the usually regal "Fanny Ardant" is transformed from a tedious hausfrau into her husband's ideal partner by virtue of a little extra marital sex. In this ridiculously plotted film Hollywood decides to reinforce good old family values by turning the prostitute character, in this case "Chloe" played by Amanda Seyfried, from a conduit to the housewife's sexual awakening into a full blown "Fatal Attraction " type threat to the family unit. As a result, Glenn Close like, the poor girl has to die at the end to allow the happy couple to conclude with a loving embrace. And what sort of a family unit is this? A secretive husband who has no ability to communicate with his wife, a son who is so disrespectful to his mother that he doesn't even answer her and a wife - in this case transformed from housewife to a gynaecologist. This change adds no extra plot depth or subtext but is simply added because obviously nobody in Hollywood films can be unemployed or blue collar and the family needs a high income to be able to afford that stupid house they live in, the one with the windows that push though if you lean on them!
Atom Egoyan must have had a few bills land on his doormat the day he accepted to take on this film. The creator of such gems as "The Sweet Hereafter" and "The Adjuster" his direction on this film is flat and uninteresting. The often wonderful Julianne Moore reverts to hysterical middle class lady and furrowed brow auto pilot mode. Whereas I suspect she may have thought this film was about female sexuality and empowerment it becomes about the nuclear family fighting off the threat to traditional conservative values. Poor old Liam Neeson does his usual Steven Segal impersonation and the unflattering lighting only serves to highlight his dyed hair, which has the texture of a nylon carpet, the pancake make-up and the eye liner. My smart wife described him as more of a lethargio than a Lothario in his performance in this film. When I see Liam I am always reminded of the line in "Tootsie" where Dustin Hoffman talks about his one man show where he performed as vegetables whereas Liam could put on a show performing as household wooden furniture, his oak table would be breathtaking!
Amanda Seyfried gives a very committed performance, obviously seeing this as part of her move to more edgy material such as "Lovelace" and "Jennifer's Body". But in reality none of the family films that she has previously appeared in have ended up being as reactionary as this stinker ultimately proves to be.
The fact that the adaptations to the script are written by a woman , Erin Cressida Wilson, show that class awareness is ultimately more important than gender when it comes to being able to see the truth in the world. Her work on this film has made me re-visit my views on "Secretary", which she also wrote, and I now wonder whether what I thought was a satire is in fact tired old male fantasy fulfillment. Ms Wilson is clearly a LA girl who escaped a life regurgitating cliché amongst American academia to actually become a screen writer, just so long as she played the tiresome Hollywood game.
So a total waste of talent and time.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am a huge fan of Amanda Seyfried. She's beautiful, exceptionally talented, and this role demonstrates her ability to perform in all genres and to do so flawlessly. Quite frankly, I was in total shock to see the tables turned on a theme: to watch women in traditional male roles (the males as transgressors vs. the passive wife/victim). I would have preferred to see others cast in the roles of the Stewarts (keeping the son, however-I thought he was adorable and charming). Was I the only person to notice the billboard in view of Dr. Stewart's office window? It appeared to be her, in full view of anyone on the street. Since that seemed to be Chloe's "turf", she could have easily set her sights on Dr. Stewart. Chloe possessed the intellectual resources to stalk her prey and catch her. I doubt she was bisexual. I believe she was a lesbian, but men were simply a part of her job. Chloe's obsession with Dr. Stewart seemed to have deep roots associated with her mother. Her dialog in the beginning tells the entire story: she has to know her craft. It is necessary to know what to say, how to touch, etc. In short, to find each person's magic button and when to push it. I thought it was brilliant!
A woman who suspects her husband is straying hires a prostitute to proposition him. It's intriguing for the most part and includes a well-executed twist. One of the plot elements is nothing more than pure male fantasy, which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, it completely falls apart in the final act, undermining all the good things that came before. Moore and Neeson are fine as the married couple finding they have drifted apart over the years. Seyfried shows limited acting skills but puts her other endowments on display. Egoyan usually works with his own scripts and rarely fails to be interesting, but here he is letdown by the adapted screenplay.
***SPOILERS*** Hot and erotic drama set in Toronto Canada in the dead
of winter that really heats things up with teenage call-girl Chloe,
Amanda Seyfried, getting involved with both David and Catherine
Stewart, Liam Neeson & Julianne Moore, in an misguided effort by
Catherine to find out if her hunk of a man hubby David is cheating on
It's when David didn't show up,he claimed he missed his flight in New York City, at a surprise birthday party that Catherine is throwing for him that she starts to get suspicions about him making out with the many sexy female students he's teaching, as a professor of the arts, in collage. You can't blame Catherine in feeling that David is playing the field in that the girls in his classes are just plain nuts about him. And on top of all that David is anything but passive in letting them throw themselves on him. In her trying to find out if David is taking his action outside the Stewart bedroom Catherine hires sexy call-girl Chole to make a play for him to see if he takes the bait.
At first David is reported by Chloe to be faithful to his marriage vows but as she starts to turn the screws on him, at David's wife Catherine's insistence, he falls apart like a house of cards and gives in to her very sexy advances! Just hearing about the hot and heavy action that both David and Chloe are engaged in from Chloe herself gets Catherine so hot and worked up that she ends up in bed with her in what has to be about as close a film can get, in a lesbian one on one sexual encounter, without receiving a triple X rating!
Catherine's action in trying to get the goods on David soon has him suspect,in her always being out late at night, that she's having an affair behind his back and finally lets his feeling become known to her in a wild exchange in the family kitchen. Thinking that she's the one who's been cheated on Catherine agrees to confront David at the downtown Tronto's Cafe Diplamatico and spill the goods on him with Chloe, who has no idea what Catherine is planning, as the surprise guest! This air tight plan on Catherine's part, to prove her husbands infidelity, turned out to be a total and complete disaster that leaves the once confident Catherine in a state of complete shock!
***SPOILERS*** Very well made and interesting adult movie that has some of the most both explicit sexual talk as well as action you'l find in a non X rated motion picture. Chloe was the person really pulling the strings in the film manipulation both David and Catherine as well as the couples very sexually active 17 years old son the piano playing Michael, Max Thieriot, whom after her act was exposed tried to destroy his, like she did his parents, life as well! In the end Chloe realized what a mess she made of everything and everyone in the movie then just lets herself go to her enviable demise as a both shocked Catherine and Michael, whom she was just caught in bed with, watched helplessly!
Great acting by everyone involved with a knock out scene at the café Diplamatico when the big showdown between Catherine David & Chloe was to take place. Liam Neeson's, as David Stewart, incredible acting ability for him to keep a straight face when he's approached from behind by Chole, who has no idea that he was there, was so down right convincing and on the money that it had both Catherine, who planned the whole event, and Chloe at a loss for words almost throughout the remainder of the film! That jaw-dropping scene alone is worth the price of admission and has to rank right up there with the famous "I Coulda been a Contender" scene between Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger in the movie "On the Waterfront"!
Having just watched this, I have to say Chloe is more a film about the
need for intimacy and the need to feel good. This is what I picked up
from it the most.
Overall, the film is a solid thriller that goes into the path of a beautiful young woman called Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) who works as a young prostitute. We learn from the very beginning that she has to know exactly what to say, how to touch, how to think in order to make her clients want her....and after she can disappear. Julianna Moore plays Katherine who is a successful gynaecologist who suspects that her husband David (Liam Neeson) is having an affair. So she hires young Chloe to play tricks on him in order to test his faithfulness to her.
Amanda Seyfried I thought was terrific as this young innocent girl who seems to want more than just what she does in her job. She eventually becomes attached to Katherine after feeling an emotional bond with her, which eventually leads to passion, and this is where the problems start.
Julianne Moore is superb as always. She can handle drama in her sleep, and Liam Neeson is respectable in his role too. It seems all the characters in this film are longing for that sense of intimacy, not just for sex, but to feel loved and wanted. This is even depicted in Katherine's son Michael, who seems to take a girl home just for the sake of not being lonely at home, with two seemingly distant parents.
The third act sort of falls flat when it turns into more of a typical fatal attraction type scenario. I felt they could have developed more of the relationship between Katherine and Chloe, and maybe explore more in regards to Chloe's past perhaps and a possibility of starting afresh. But then this would be more of a melodrama than a thriller wouldn't it? So you can't blame them for taking the formula.
The ending is a bit hard to swallow in regards to the motivations of the characters. It was done a bit too fast for me with not enough time for it to sink in. The relationship with Katherine and her son was not resolved in the end that explained anything, thus I felt a bit let down by it.
It is the performances that make this worth the viewing. With top actors, and Amanda Seyfried proving she can handle more than people may think she can, I still stuck to this from start to finish. Seyfried can convey a lot of emotions and is perfect for this role. She eludes both a beauty and internal fiery danger into her character terrifically. It is well worth your time, but don't go expecting something absolutely spellbinding....it's just worth the ride while you are there.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For me it was like watching two films simultaneously: the former being
the actual thriller that viewer was meant to see and the latter an
actual artistic tribute to the saga of letting go of one's youth and
The movie symbolically opens to Julianne Moore's character looking out a window, spying on a much younger woman as she goes about her daily life and then a few scenes latter her husband (played by Liam Neeson) is shown giving a lecture(his character is a professor) to his adoring students who actually treat him like he's a rock star. This sort of sets the tone for everything else that takes place in the rest of the movie. Moore's character's fears of ageism and inadequacy versus Neeson's character's fear that one more birthday might snap his boyish charm, his way with the ladies and natural wit right out of him. There was a point in the film where Moore's character said to her husband that in spite of his fears of growing old, no matter what he did, he always became more attractive to her. Which is pretty much the way the world works in real life. The older men get the more attractive they seem yet the older women get the closer they are to being moved to the back burner.
Amanda Seyfried held her own opposite such seasoned powerhouse performers like Neeson and Moore, the guy who played their son needs acting lessons but otherwise, it was an excellent film.
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