It was great to see the crowd for this film at my local cinema last night. Yes, the reviews for this look like they are all over the map. But let it be said that without this fantastic casting (Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson and Amanda Seyfried-a powerful erotic, sexual trio), the glorious cinematography and the wildly gorgeous sound track, it might be all of what these uninspired critics are writing. The film stays true to the original plot: a doctor thinks her husband is cheating so she hires a young beautiful prostitute named Chloe (a surprisingly excellent Amanda Seyfried) to seduce him, with an outcome that will make your mind spin, in pure Hitchcock form.
We live only a few miles from Canada by air but it might as well be Istanbul in the hands of this director (Atom Egoyan). Magically, the city of Toronto in winter is like another world, with a sleek modern feel that is alluring and cold and sad all at the same time. This is the perfect setting for a movie rich in the cloaked emotion of the upper class, lost in a deep, depressing freeze. Watching the film on a spring day in New York makes it seem even more unreal and foreign. In this landscape of ice, we see the characters emerge as modern people lost, alienated, hungry for love or even just a human touch. This is a movie of antithesis, and startling allusions of the duality between trust and fear, openness and truth and the hard fact of emotional illusion and mirror-like dreams. This film is a remake of the 2003 Anne Fontaine French film “Nathalie” and stays true to the deep wave of surrealist magic still washing on the shore of French thought and culture. Yes, the ending is rather obvious (by some standards), but it won’t crush your response. For those of you wide awake enough to enjoy this, you will be rewarded in ways that American directors rarely seem to reach. What I say is bravo! I believe that for these moments, such dreams are very real, and often have life-altering consequences. To feel such loneliness in a marriage, and within your sexual self, to long for a touch of someone-anyone-in this case, could have devastating consequences if taken too far.
Chloe is now playing at the Brooklyn Heights Cinema in Brooklyn, New York.