Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang YangWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects:
NACinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Deraled”, "Nathalie...", “The Hand That Rocks The Cradle”
A revisit of 2003 French erotic thriller "Nathalie..." with European cinema greats Emmanuelle Beart as the irresistible whore while Fanny Ardant and Gerard Depardieu play the embattled married couple, "Chloe" is a low-intensity Hollywood addition that will benefit from its array of A-listers and the intrigue of its decorated director Atom Egoyan (who has been shooting dark dramas since "Sweet Hereafter" in 1997) but ultimately falters because it cannot replicate the controlled explosiveness and the European sophistication in the original, leading us to question its character arcs.
Just like the Anne Fontaine source flick, we have a woman (Julianne Moore) who suspects her husband (Liam Neeson) of cheating, so she hires a mysterious escort (Amanda Seyfried in the titular role) to seduce him and report on her findings. It's a twist-based plot, so we'll spare you of further details but its safe to disclose that it's a sexual deceit thing, the stuff that erotic thrillers are made of.
"Chloe" comes off as a cinematic letdown despite the cast actually having done their earnest best. We know Julianne Moore does "angry but fragile woman" effortlessly well. We know they wrote Liam Neeson out of some scenes when he left the set to attend to his dying wife during the shoot but he returned in time despite the odds. We know that Amanda Seyfried does have the charisma to pull off an antagonist who needs to command great screen presence. However, this Erin Cressida Wilson ("Secretary" 2002, "Fur: An Imaginary Portrait Of Diane Arbus" 2006) screenplay lacks the power and the polish to engage, leaving audiences little to look forward to, other than a particularly frontal encounter between the two lead women.
Talking about that, look away now if you don't want to read a spoiler - Anne Fontaine (writer and director of the 2003 original) reportedly said she was interested in this take because Ardant and Beart objected to Fontaine's original intention for a lesbian relationship to develop between their characters. Well folks, Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried sure obliged!
Let "Chloe" be a good movie to get you started on finding out more about "Nathalie...".Cinema Online, 07 July 2010