Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Program Length: 99 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 1080p
Languages: English 5.1 DTS-HD MA
Subtitles: English SDH, English, French
I guess I’ve always been pretty good with words. In my line of business, it’s as important to be able to describe what I’m doing as it is to do what I’m doing.
Atom Egoyan’s Chloe is a generally faithful remake of the 2003 French film Nathalie. It is a highly erotic tale of infidelity, jealousy, and obsession which is marred by an abrupt and unsatisfying conclusion. The premise is certainly promising. A gynecologist in
Catherine becomes aware of a beautiful prostitute, Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), who lives in an apartment building near Catherine’s office. She arranges a meeting with Chloe and offers her a most unusual proposal – she wants Chloe to come on to David and see how willing he is to succumb to her charms. Chloe is to report to Catherine with details on every meeting she has with David. The first encounter takes place in David’s favorite coffee shop, but it proves to be relatively innocuous. Catherine encourages Chloe to meet with David again, and afterwards Chloe reports, in the kind of explicit language which one might find in a romance novel, that the relationship has turned sexual. Chloe reports each subsequent tryst with David in increasingly graphic detail, to the point where Catherine begins to be aroused by the young prostitute.
A sub-plot involving David and Catherine’s son, Michael (Max Thieriot), is not particularly compelling. Michael has a strained relationship with Catherine, for reasons which are fully explained only in one of the deleted scenes. Michael is introduced as a talented music student, but the portrayal of him by Max Thieriot is so bland that there is no particular reason to care about him. This is unfortunate because the film’s climactic scene involves Michael, and it may have worked better if he were a more compelling character.
Julianne Moore, who has taken a number of sexually-charged roles during her career, turns in a typically excellent performance as the tormented and conflicted Catherine (at one point Catherine is so obsessed by the relationship between David and Chloe that her friends begin to suspect that she is having an affair). Amanda Seyfried is intriguing as the title character, a woman whose motives and intentions are never entirely clear. There is one intensely erotic scene involving Catherine and Chloe which the viewer will not likely forget anytime soon. Liam Neeson does a fine job as the middle-aged, possibly philandering husband who is alternately tender and dismissive toward his wife.
In addition to its curious ending, the major flaw in this film is a plot twist which viewers are likely to anticipate before it is revealed. Nevertheless, Atom Egoyan is an accomplished filmmaker, and even his failures have much to recommend them. Chloe is not entirely satisfying, but it certainly is intriguing.
Much of Chloe was filmed on location in
The lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack has little in it to blow the viewer away, but it is more than up to what is required of it. There is not much for the subwoofer to do, but the surround channels are effectively utilized to convey realistic ambient sounds. The dialogue is mostly confined to the center channels and it is clear and understandable. The musical soundtrack by Mychael Danna is suitably evocative and is nicely reproduced here.
The extras on this Blu-ray disc include a commentary track by Atom Egoyan, Amanda Seyfried and screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson. Their discussion is quite frank, and this is the first commentary which I can recall in which the word “jism” is used. Screenwriter
Also included is a “making of” featurette entitled “Introducing Chloe: The Making of Chloe Directed by Atom Egoyan.” The principal actors participate, as well as producer Ivan Reitman, director Egoyan and screenwriter Wilson. It has a running time of approximately 26 minutes.
There are two deleted scenes. In the first one, Chloe talks to Catherine about her childhood and her relationship with her estranged mother. The second scene involves Michael telling Chloe the background details surrounding his anger with his mother.
Sony also has included the original theatrical trailer for Chloe, as well as trailers for The Runaways, The Square, The Secret in Their Eyes, A Single Man, A Prophet, Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky, the upcoming Starz mini-series The Pillars of Earth, and the first season of the television series Damages.
As usual, BD-Live features will be enabled on the release date.
The single disc comes in a standard Blu-ray keep case.
The Final Analysis
This is an intriguing and kinky erotic thriller which does not quite live up to its promise. However, it is extremely well-made and boasts some impressive acting, so it is worth a look if you keep in mind the caveats which have been mentioned.
Equipment used for this review:
Panasonic DMP-BD50 Blu-ray player
Panasonic Viera TC-P46G15 Plasma display, calibrated to THX specifications by Gregg Loewen
Yamaha HTR-5890 THX Surround Receiver
BIC Acoustech speakers
Interconnects: Monster Cable