Monday 29 January 2018

Chloe -film review

Chloe is a psychological thriller movie, originally released in 2009. It's a remake by Atom Egoyan of a French film called Nathalie, from 2003, which I haven't seen. Chloe benefits from a classy cast, led by Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson. I always enjoy watching Neeson, even though I'm not quite sure whether that's because of his acting skills or simply his charisma. Here, as so often, he plays David, a rumpled but likeable guy, an academic and a specialist in opera. The trouble is, his wife Catherine starts to suspect that he's rather too likeable as far as his students are concerned.

Catherine, a rich doctor, throws an extravagant surprise birthday party for David at great expense. Much to her embarrassment, he doesn't show up, because he's missed his flight. But did he miss it to be with someone else? She thinks so, and before long the affluent and seemingly untroubled lifestyle of the couple (and the life of their musical but troubled son Michael) is in serious jeopardy.

Catherine comes across a highly attractive escort girl, Chloe, and decides to hire Chloe to test David, by seeing if he is susceptible to being seduced. It's not a wise plan. Before long Chloe is reporting back graphic details of what she and David get up to. And then Chloe encounters Michael when she turns up at Catherine's place of work...

After an enigmatic and unpredictable opening, Chloe develops into a relatively straightforward thriller. The film critic Roger Ebert is among those who have admired the ambiguity of Chloe's motivation (and it's no accident that the film is named for her) but although I enjoyed the film as a competent thriller, I don't think that it has any great claims to sophistication in terms of writing. But Amanda Seyfried's portrayal of the title character is certainly compelling..

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