Believing that her husband is cheating on her, Catherine (Julianne Moore), hires a young prostitute, Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), to throw herself at him and see what he does. Chloe reports back to Catherine with the juicy details about her romantic liaisons with David (Liam Neeson), each encounter more sexually graphic than the last. The thought of her husband’s affair somehow arouses Catherine but instead of drawing her closer to David she’s drawn closer to Chloe.
Moore and Seyfried deliver two of their best performances in Chloe and they carry the film perfectly. If it wasn’t for their daring portrayals of two lost women this could easily have amounted to nothing more than a cheap erotic thriller. Instead it’s a mature erotic thriller that evaluates the relationships between people and how destructive they can be when honesty goes out the window. Neeson also shines in his role and comes across as a man conflicted with lust over love, and is oblivious to the damage he causes his family by just not paying attention.
Chloe is the first film Atom Egoyan has directed that he didn’t write (it’s based on Anne Fontaine’s 2003 French film Nathalie…) yet it has the feeling of a signature Egoyan film. The story moves slowly and is very detailed, and characters are given the chance to just sit and breathe and show subtle emotion — something missing from a lot of American thrillers. It’s in the same league as Egoyan’s Exotica or Felicia’s Journey, and if you enjoyed those you will most definitely enjoy this.
As a Torontonian it’s worth mentioning that Chloe was not only shot here but set here. This is a nice break from all the movies that pretend Toronto is New York, Chicago or Detroit (Kick-Ass and Repo Men are two recent examples that come to mind). With the upcoming Scott Pilgrim vs. The World also being set here hopefully this trend catches on.
Special features on the DVD include audio commentary with Seyfried, Egoyan, and writer Erin Cressida Wilson, a making of featurette, and deleted scenes.
Film *** / DVD *** (out of 5 stars)
Cast: Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson
Directed by: Atom Egoyan
Chloe is available on DVD and Blu-ray July 13.