Chloe (2009)

Directed by Atom Egoyan
Written by Erin Cressida Wilson

I have never seen an Atom Egoyan film until this. I have heard of him, but know very little about him. Looking at his IMDb page, I have not even heard of any of his films, but I also notice he was nominated by the Academy for The Sweet Hereafter. I had heard his work may be a little bit “weird” but the trailer for Chloe intrigued me enough to go and see it, and I’m glad I did. “Weird” would be a good way to describe the experience, but it was a good weird. The visual style and structure used by Egoyan are ultimately interesting to me.

The story follows a doctor (Julianne Moore) who suspects her husband (Liam Neeson) of cheating when he misses his flight home and ruins the surprise birthday party she had planned. With this suspicion, she goes to an escort (Amanda Seyfried) she has recently, accidentally encountered. She asks the escort, Chloe, to approach her husband and see how he responds in an attempt to tell if he is cheating on her. From there things get weird, the plot thickens and what we have is an erotic, psychological thriller of a film. The parts of the puzzle all deliver solid performances. Liam Neeson is not given very much, but Seyfried and Moore are both very good here. They both show great amounts of emotion and angst and give very subtle performances.

I have not seen something as racy since the one scene in Bergman’s Persona. Given, I have not really seen anything quite like this other than these two films, but I think they both do it quite well. The tension, both personally and sexually, is heavy. The stakes are high for all of these people and in the final act everything comes to a boiling point that was fun to watch. Not the perfect film, and not necessarily always my cup of tea, but when people like Egoyan and his actors do it as well as this, I can be thoroughly entertained and impressed. I am now slightly more curious about seeing other Egoyan works, but if they are as weighty and twisted as this, I will be sure to space them out.

*** – Very Good

1 Comment

  1. I haven't seen 'Chloe' yet, but I am an admirer of Atom Egoyan's work in general. I was glad to read a positive review for the film. Much of what I have stumbled upon as of yet has been rather mixed.

    If 'Cloe'has you interested in the director's work, I would invite you to watch 'The Sweet Hereafter', 'Exotica' and 'Felicia's Journey'.


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