Review by Jack Foley
ATOM Egoyan is no stranger to the erotic thriller, having previously overseen the likes of Exotica and Where The Truth Lies.
Chloe, his latest, is a remake of little-seen French film Nathalie that’s been re-imagined as a psychological thriller.
It’s only partially successful, however, beginning as a smart exploration of a failing marriage and sexual identity, before lumbering towards a much less intelligent Fatal Attraction-style conclusion.
Catherine (Julianne Moore) is a middle-aged wife and mother who feels her husband (Liam Neeson) no longer sees her in their relationship, especially sexually.
When she happens to meet beautiful young escort Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), she hires her to tempt her husband in a bid to find out whether he will act on his obvious attraction to younger women.
When Chloe returns with ever more lurid tales of their subsequent encounters, however, Catherine finds herself inexplicably drawn to the young woman and enters into a relationship that has potentially disastrous consequences for everyone concerned.
Early on, Egoyan’s film succeeds in grabbing your attention by virtue of the filmmaker’s typically stylish direction and strong performances from both Seyfried and [especially] Moore.
But as events unfold and become ever more unlikely, the film loses its grip on reality and feels like its pandering more to the conventions of bog-standard Hollywood thrillers.
The erotic scenes are genuinely erotic… but even they start to feel exploitative within the context of how the story eventually unfolds.
Moore’s good work, meanwhile, is left to flounder, while the likes of Seyfried become more and more one dimensional and Neeson is reduced to the sidelines for too long.
Mainstream viewers seeking a little extra titillation from their thrillers may enjoy going where the film takes them, but given the intelligence surrounding the first half of proceedings, fans of Egoyan’s previous work may well feel extremely disappointed.
Running time: 98mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: July 19, 2010
- Buy it on DVD (Amazon)
- Read our review
- Julianne Moore interview
- Amanda Seyfried interview
- Chloe - Movie Photo Gallery
- Ivan Reitman and Atom Egoyan interview
- London Photo Call Gallery
- UK Premiere Photo Gallery