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A movie directed by Atom Egoyan

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'I must find something, no matter how small, that I can love....'

  • Jul 15, 2010
Atom Egoyan ('The Sweet Hereafter', 'Ararat', 'Where the Truth Lies') has a gift for setting up cinematic surveillance of private encounters and studying the results of an incident on everyone witnessing it. In CHLOE he has engaged the services of Erin Cressida Wilson to adapt the French film NATHALIE by Anne Fontaine to place it on this side of the pond. In the French version the successful actors were Fanny Ardant, Emmanuelle Béart, and Gérard Depardieu: for this version Egoyan has an equally superb cast to carry off this mysterious story with great success. The same question arises in both films: 'what is imagined and what is real?', and it is the getting there that makes this film so fascinating.

Catherine Stewart (Julianne Moore) is a gynecologist married to the successful professor of music David (Liam Neeson) and they have a stay-at-home hippie son Michael (Max Thieriot) who goes about his life much the same as his parents: there is superficial companionship but little in depth relationship. The marriage seems satisfactory until Catherine plans a surprise birthday party for David, a party David doesn't attend, and Catherine suspects David of having affairs, a fact that David apparently suggests by his flirtations with waitresses and 'help'. Catherine is shocked, but realizes that as she is aging this may be a normal situation in older marriages.

Catherine visits a bar, a private club for assignations, and there she meets Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) and eventually buys Chloe's services as a prostitute to meet her husband and then tell her all about the encounters. It is agreed that Chloe will be paid for her services and only go as far as Catherine instructs. From this point on Catherine and Chloe meet after Chloe has encounters with David and describes the acts of the encounters in vivid and lurid detail. Catherine is fascinated and continues to pay Chloe for on going encounters and subsequent voyeuristic descriptions. Catherine even has a one-night stand of her own with Chloe in an attempt to understand her husband's need for infidelity.

Despite the setup of 'private investigator and prostitute detective' the two women become friends. When Catherine realizes she has enough evidence against David to leave him there is a final encounter of the three (Catherine, David, Chloe, and even son Michael) that brings the ingenious surprise ending - an ending too fine to share as it would spoil the film for viewers new to the story. Each of the actors does a star turn - Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried, and Liam Neeson - and once again Atom Egoyan takes an implausible story and makes us think. Grady Harp, July 10

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More Chloe reviews
Quick Tip by . April 12, 2011
posted in MovieSucktastic
Amanda Seyfried and Julianne Moore get it on. Seriously, it's soft porn with the plot of an above-average soft porn, though you do have to dredge through two ridiculous hours until "that scene". I haven't been this embarrassed for Liam Neeson since watching Darkman. 
review by . March 31, 2010
Sex Without the Thrill
Written by Erin Cresside Wilson Directed by Atom Egoyan Starring Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson and Amanda Seyfried      Catherine Stewart: I don’t know whether I should be relieved or just go hang myself.      Atom Egoyan is one of Canada’s most celebrated auteur filmmakers but you would never know it from watching his latest, CHLOE.  I thought the hyper-sexualized erotic thriller went out in the ‘90’s but Egoyan seems bent on bringing …
Quick Tip by . October 05, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Strained relationship...
A terrific erotically charged psychological thriller in which a married woman hires a prostitute to approach her husband in an attempt to find out if he's been unfaithful. Of course things don't go as planned as the prostitute reports back the events that have occurred and falls in love with the man's wife. The film features an impressive cast lead by Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried, and Liam Neeson, all of which give compelling performances. I particularly liked the ambiguity of the …
review by . April 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I've seen many films   just like or similar to Atom Egoyan's  "CHLOE"  I can name  a  few right off the top of my head: "Fatal Attraction"(1987),  "9 1/2 Weeks"(1986), "Indecent Proposal"(1993), "Lolita(1997), "Disclosure"(1994). In addition, one of the most infamous of the erotic thriller genre "Basic Instinct"(1992), now I ask you what all these films have in common. Simple  they all …
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I liked this movie what a twisting plot you just never knew what was going to happen in this a very sexy movie
Quick Tip by . April 26, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A flawed film that works so much better than you could imagine but does falter and then amazingly picks itself right back up again.
About the reviewer
Grady Harp ()
Ranked #97
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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About this movie


In the erotic thriller, Chloe, Dr. Catherine Stewart (Julianne Moore,A Single Man) suspects that her husband David (Liam Neeson,Taken) is cheating on her. So she hires an escort named Chloe (Amanda Seyfried,Mamma Mia!) to offer herself to him, to see how he responds--but Catherine has a surprising response to what unfolds, and Chloe becomes drawn deeply into the doctor's life.Chloe is an atypical "Hollywood" film from Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter,Exotica), as it features big stars, a script Egoyan didn't write himself (it's by Erin Cressida Wilson, the screenwriter of Secretary), an editing rhythm notably less idiosyncratic than Egoyan films of old, and an ending that feels forced and unsatisfying. But Chloe explores classic Egoyan obsessions: voyeurism, jealousy, and betrayal. As the movie unfolds, the performances are full of rich details, capturing jagged emotional edges that make the somewhat-implausible plot compelling. Chloe doesn't have the uncanny psychological acuity of Egoyan's best films, but anyone who's enjoyed this unique director's earlier work will find much to enjoy.--Bret Fetzer

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Director: Atom Egoyan
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Release Date: 25 February 2010 (South Korea)
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Erin Cressida Wilson
DVD Release Date: July 13, 2010
Runtime: 96 min
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
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"Sex Without the Thrill"
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