With the wide-eyed Amanda Seyfried hitting theaters this week via the kidnap thriller "Gone," we thought we’d pay homage to the blond goddess by resurrecting a little five-star nugget from her recent past that some may have missed – welcome to Forgotten Friday Flick! We’re going back to 2009 for a sexy and sultry little erotic thriller that had Seyfried playing a very grown up call girl brought in to help a jealous wife with the adulterous suspicions. But as with every great film helmed by Canadian wunderkind Atom Egoyan there’s more then meets the eye in the sensual and suspenseful flick..."Chloe."
Gynecologist Catherine is worried that her college professor husband David is having an affair. His flirty nature, ease with female students and other seemingly telling signs point to a possible affair with another woman. So the weary wife decides to put her hubby to the test – she hires call girl Chloe. Chloe’s job is to throw a little extracurricular temptation David’s way and report back all her findings to Catherine. But soon the meetings between David and Chloe begin to become more intimate and erotic and Catherine finds herself strangely becoming aroused by the tales of seduction. Then things get really interesting.
I remember reading a story by "Chloe" Producer and "Ghostbusters" Director Ivan Reitman about how he opted out of helming the film and purposely handed it to the ample Atom Egoyan. It was a wise decision as "Chloe" has equal parts sexuality and complexity, both of which are Egoyan’s strong suits. It’s frankly what makes "Chloe" a stand out and being a remake of an already effective French film (the 2004 flick "Nathalie…") it’s no small feat. A master craftsman in the art of the strange, Egoyan here simply applies a slight Hitchcockian tone and erotic element to his signature style and presto - a thriller that’s actually thrilling. (Aka keeps you guessing!)
Not to mention that Egoyan is the modern master of sensuality. Whether it’s the sinful strippers of "Exotica" or the spectacle of Gabrielle Rose taking on an entire football team mid field in "The Adjuster," Egoyan has never met a sex scene he couldn’t make memorable. "Chloe" has a few, including a hot encounter between Seyfried and Neeson in a greenhouse, but it’s the unexpected and passionate affair between the young Seyfried (captivating!) and older Moore (still stunning!) that provides the hottest coupling in the film. Their obvious chemistry, both in and out of bed, makes for one powerful tryst.
On the acting front, Moore and Neeson play their respective roles well, but it’s surprisingly Seyfried who ends up stealing the show. Much like the equally amazing Mia Kirschner in Egoyan’s "Exotica," Seyfried plays a role that requires a fine line of nuanced character work and she delivers handsomely. Her Chloe is classy, self-assured and completely unbalanced – a combo of sex and sin in one.
Many people may have been turned off by "Chloe’s" graphic nature, but in all fairness it’s a film that in many facets bares all to expose what lies beneath. It’s here that Egoyan is most comfortable, showing the tainted underbelly of things that appear sane on the surface. Sex and love with the absence of trust - welcome to the world according to Atom.
Cast: Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried
Director: Atom Egoyan
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Release Company: Sony Pictures Classics