Thursday, April 1, 2010


In a nutshell, Chloe, Atom Egoyan's latest film, makes you wonder what conclusion you should draw from it. While Egoyan is definitely one of Canada's greatest director, this creation will very likely divide professional critics and members of the public alike. With that said, Chloe is best appreciated when we only think about all the things that happened in the story before the weak ending comes.

Catherine (Julianne Moore) and David (Liam Neeson) are respectively a successful gynaecologist who has her own clinic and a popular music professor at an university. After he had given a conference in New York, David tells Catherine that he missed his flight back to Toronto and, by extension, can't attend the surprise party that she prepared for his birthday. Eventually, Catherine suspects David of cheating on her.

In fact, without confronting him about it, Catherine discovers that David, while in New York, actually dined with an university female student (Meghan Heffern) by reading a message on David's iPhone. Moreover, her suspicions grow when David "was being friendly" with a waitress before her eyes. Thus, Catherine hires a young escort named Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) to see if David will take the bait. However, as time goes by, Chloe becomes obsessed by Catherine.

As always, Atom Egoyan illustrates, through the story, how technology gets us closer or even further from each other. In addition to that, he also probes his characters' sexual desires with a lot of efficiency. As Chloe talks to Catherine in a detailed way about her adventures with David, Egoyan manages to suggests how Catherine is vicariously living her fantasies through someone who is half as young as her. No wonder why Catherine starts having an affair with Chloe. After all, Catherine misses the time when there was a lot of action and passion in her relation with David.

However, the story's strength lies in its ability to show us that with Catherine's attention, Chloe no longer feels that she's a nameless and disposable sexual object (like any escort). In fact, with Catherine (or perhaps David?) around, Chloe actually feels like the one for someone. Amanda Seyfried, the true star of the film, brilliantly portrays Chloe's self-confidence, power of seduction and even fragility with thespian skills that probably weren't there a few years ago.

Finally, Chloe is worth a look (no play on words intended) because of Egoyan's elegant directorial touch. Furthermore, it's a fascinating story about manipulation, sex, obsession and the search for love. Unfortunately, the story's finale brutally and uselessly strikes us as the stakes got higher in the relation between Catherine and Chloe. Indeed, what kind of problems would Catherine have to deal with? Would Chloe have left her job as an escort because of her obsession for Catherine? In short, this is not the best film from Atom Egoyan, but I'd still recommend it.

Rating: 3.5/5

Origin:Canada/France/USA (2010)
Length:96 minutes
Genre:Erotic drama
Screenplay:Erin Cressida Wilson
Director:Atom Egoyan
Starring:Amanda Seyfried, Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson

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