REVIEW: Chloe

24 07 2010

Atom Egoyan’s “Chloe” is no fantasy, but it does ask us to suspend reality a little bit.  The movie forces us to believe that normally sweet, innocent Amanda Seyfried can be an obsessive nymphomaniac and normally steadfast, noble Liam Neeson can be a philandering husband.

Take a deep breath.  It’s hard to imagine these actors playing so against type, isn’t it?  The shock value from seeing them be so bad adds to the overall shock value of the movie, which is one of the few things it has going in its favor.  Overall, it’s a fairly predictable movie that still manages to unsettle you thanks to its graphic descriptions of sexual behavior and the psychotic Benjamin Braddock character that is Amanda Seyfried’s Chloe.

Chloe is a master of seduction, using the persuasive power of her good looks to take full control of everyone she comes into contact with.  This includes gynecologist Catherine Stewart (Julianne Moore), who has become convinced that her husband (Neeson) is cheating on her.  She hires Chloe to test his waters and see how far he will go, but she soon finds out that she is in for way more than she asked.  The assignment only proves to feed Chloe’s purely carnal desires, and she will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

The movie is most notable for Seyfried’s turn, which is such a departure from her lighter roles that it will leave you completely awe-struck.  She proves that she can do more than just fluff like Nicholas Sparks adaptations and campy ABBA musicals, and I’m sure excited to welcome her into the realm of real acting.  Julianne Moore goes through the movie in cruise control, but that’s still enough for one of the finest actresses of our time to be compelling.  And then there’s Liam Neeson, who’s hardly in the movie long enough to sully our views of him as such an honorable man.

Really, the movie’s biggest flaw is it’s obsession with shocking us.  There comes a certain point when it becomes overkill, and then the audience learns to anticipate it, rendering any power it might have completely useless.  So by the end of “Chloe,” when the final twists come into place and Chloe commits her most shocking deeds yet, it really doesn’t mean anything to us.  B /

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5 responses

24 07 2010
Sebastian

It sounds like you didn’t really like it all when reading it, yet you gave it a B. Hmmm…

I couldn’t stand this movie. I’m sorry. I thought it was poorly written and horribly acted. I disagree with you on Seyfried. She was so monotone, she was almost robotic. If you want to see her as a real actress, check out Big Love.

But, to each his own. I seem to be alone in the sentiment that this is one of the worst films of the year. It’s lonely up here on my soapbox. Won’t someone come join me? “whimpers to himself, sits down, and listens to iPod”

24 07 2010
Marshall

No problem – I respect differing opinions. I liked Seyfried, maybe just for the shock value of seeing her do a real movie.

24 07 2010
Kaiderman

Here’s what I wanna know… how much good nudity? Scale of 1 to 10. 7 or above and I’ll check it out. Which is going to be weird cuz Chloe is my daughter’s name… but I’ll work past that! 🙂

24 07 2010
Simon/Ripley

Well, Neeson was pretty philandering in Schindler’s List.

Anyway, I have no real desire to see this. Too melo/eroto/psycho dramatic.

24 07 2010
Marshall

True, but Neeson was still a pretty noble guy in “Schindler’s List.” The philandering was just a part of the character they had to include.

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