Chloe (Review)

(3/26/10; Erotic Thriller)
Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Max Thieriot
SCR: Erin Cressida Wilson; based on Anne Fontaine’s screenplay Mathilda
DIR: Atom Egoyan
MPAA: R for strong sexual content including graphic dialogue, nudity and language.
1 hour 36 mins
BOX: $3,074,838

Moore believes husband Neeson is cheating on her so she hires escort Seyfried to tempt him and report back to her. I don’t have to tell you what a bad idea that is but fortunately, Egoyan, remaking the French erotic drama Mathilda (2003) is never one to shy away from edgy grown-up stuff like sex and nudity, asks a lot of his actors.

The result is a rich, rewarding complex adult drama. Moore carries the film, delicately balancing a range of complex emotions. As Chloe, Seyfried jumps into the deep end with a fresh and fearless performance that’s altogether rare when you consider how often rising stars tend to play it safe. The film is also beautiful to look at (and I’m not just talking about the ample amounts of skin on display). Ivan Reitman and son Jason Reitman are credited as producers.

HOWEVER (SPOILERS): It’s worth noting that the structure and ending of the original film are a lot more ambiguous. Mathilda’s reports to the wife are all one-sided (without flashbacks) and the implications run the gamut from sexual politics to forbidden attraction.

Here, the literal events all lead up to an inevitable violent confrontation. (Sony Pictures Classics)


Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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