Directed By: Atom Egoyan
Written By: Erica Cressida Wilson
Based on The Original Screenplay NATHALIE By: Anne Fontaine
Cinematography By: Paul Sarossy
Editor: Susan Shipton
Cast: Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, Max Thierot, Nina Dobrev
Catherine and David, she a doctor, he a professor, are at first glance the perfect couple. Happily married with a talented teenage son, they appear to have an idyllic life. But when David misses a flight and his surprise birthday party, Catherine’s long simmering suspicions rise to the surface. Suspecting infidelity, she decides to hire an escort to seduce her husband and test his loyalty. Catherine finds herself ‘directing’ Chloe’s encounters with David, and Chloe’s end of the bargain is to report back, the descriptions becoming increasingly graphic as the meetings multiply.
An emotional thriller, That comes off more like melodrama. The film is supposed to be erotic at times but always felt cold to the touch. All the time there never seems to be any passion or warmth between family and marriages, Not even in the love scenes. This is a constant problem. Not only in this film but a consistent one when it comes to the films of Atom Egoyan that I have seen.
He definitely has talent as a director. Though this is not the right project for him. He still in my opinion hasn’t found the right project to explore it. Not since EXOTICA at least. Even when it comes to his other films THE SWEET HEREAFTER. It’s more the story and material that I am impressed with than the direction. Julianne Moore gives a good tightly wound performance, It really is her movie.
The film after a certain point gets more and more ridiculous and becomes less an arty drama than another genre exercise altogether. Though the film does have a certain style. As well as a overwrought colorful palette of white in the backgrounds. Surprisingly this film was produced by Ivan Reitman.
I know this is a remake of a French film. For some odd reason, this film gets lost in translation as the film has the right looks and visuals, but feels wrong or that is all flying on all the wrong cylinders. The home life of the central family of characters feels too liberal and too distant. The film falls apart since it is ill-fitting. While the story feels plausible and believable. The scene where it’s all explained just sounds ridiculous. Strangely it feels more like a chick flick. Then anything else with a little eroticism thrown in.
The eroticism hangs like a cloud through the whole film though there is sensuality in parts yet lacks sex and skin on display. I think your enjoyment of the film will be measured by your attraction to Amanda Seyfried.
Amanda Seyfried is sexy and a good enough actress, but it feels more like she is playing dress-up. She plays what she thinks is sexy or at least what she thinks sexy is. Without really knowing what is actually sexy, Erotic, or sensual. The ending feels too theatrical.
Screenwriter Erica Cressida Wilson seems to usually write the screenplays for these types of films. Sexually Explicit but emotionally restricted characters bubbling under the surface with passion. She writes usually complex female character dramas with Projects like FUR and SECRETARY.
Wait for Cable.