Chloe and Nathalie

Amanda Seyfried and Julianne Moore in Chloe

Chloe is a 2010 sexual thriller that is recently available on DVD.  It’s about an attractive and successful middle aged couple.  The wife has reason to believe that the husband is having an affair.  To make sure, she hires a beautiful call girl to tempt the husband.  In increasingly sexually charged meetings, the call girl reports back to her with explicit details of a torrid affair.

Chloe is a remake of the 2003 French Nathalie, where the couple is played by Fanny Ardent and Gerard Depardieu and the call girl by Emmanuelle Beart.  Now you would think that watching the mysteriously sexy Fanny Ardent become sexually obsessed and the smokin’ hot Emmanuelle Beart describing and acting out sex would be pretty darn interesting.  But Nathalie is dreary and heavy – even laborious to watch.  Despite excellent acting by its three stars, Nathalie is a failure.

Chloe is directed by one of my most admired filmmakers, Atom Egoyan (Exotica, Sweet Hereafter, Adoration) and his movie is paced much more crisply and compellingly than is Nathalie.  Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson play the couple and Amanda Seyfried plays the callgirl, and they are every bit as good as the French stars of Nathalie (and I prefer Neeson’s performance to Depardieu’s).  But Egoyan tries to spice things up even more with two new plot developments at the very end.  Because he had already made a superior version of the story, those developments are unnecessary and instead work to cheese out the film.

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