For a film overflowing with such sensuality and eroticism, Atom Egoyan’s Chloe, available on DVD and Blu-ray tomorrow, is a rather inert movie-going experience. Amongs the many explicit and steamy escapades of the central characters and the occasional compelling Fatal Attraction-esque revelation, this thriller leaves you with little to remember besides Amanda Seyfried’s titillating bosom.Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter is a heart-wrenching piece of cinema and by far his best film, but since that 1997 feature, the filmmaker has made few movies above the caliber of high-class pornography. What he seems to lack these days is compelling narratives. However, it is hard to argue against the man's technical prowess behind the camera. His glossy, noirish finish present in his entire filmography is often more compelling than his limp attempts at tension. What makes Chloe yet even more subpar is the massy ending which feels decidedly out of place against the preceding acts. This could certainly be a product of the death of Liam Neeson’s wife at the time of filming so I won’t be one to hold that against anyone.Chloe is a remake of the 2003 French film Natalie…, which I have also seen and for which I also feel little passion. Egoyan’s remake which is actually fairly divergent from the original centers around three characters; David (Neeson) a university professor, his doctor wife Catherine (Julianne Moore) and the sultry escort Chloe (Amanda Seyfried). When Catherine suspects her husband of infidelity, she hires Chloe to try to seduce David and report back with the results. Things grow increasingly complicated however, as not only does Chloe more than successfully lay with David, Catherine develops feelings for her hired temptress. From there, jealously mounts.All three principle actors give excellent performances, and we would expect nothing less. Neeson is great as always, tapping into his suave mysterious charm he employs so well. It is a testament to his acting ability when he can complete a nuanced role such as this, only to then star in a balls-to-the-wall blockbuster like The A-Team and give an equally wonderful performance (albeit a entirely different kind). Moore pulls off the difficult role of hurt wife and confused lover to great effect and is complemented perfectly by Seyfried as the enigmatic Chloe. This is not the Seyfried we have seen in PG chick flicks to be sure: she bares all more than once and shares a steamy scene with Moore that is nearly worth the price of a rental alone.Chloe is not a bad film, it simply feels like an incomplete one; a masterful thriller struggling to break free of its pedestrian and overly-familiar shackles. Egoyan has the skill to craft another masterpiece and I await the day on which he accomplishes just that. For now, Chloe is what we have, and it is worth the price of a rental if you feel enticed by the prospect of an arousing erotic thriller.Rating: 6/10
ChloeDirected by: Atom EgoyanWritten by: Erin Cressida WilsonStarring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried
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