Chloe

by robbiefreeling
March 24, 2010 2:26 AM
3 Comments
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robbiefreeling: So.... Egoyan.
brotherfromanother: Yes.
robbiefreeling: The greatest Canadian filmmaker ever.
brotherfromanother: He is, according to a new book on The Adjuster, a "poet of uncertainty."
robbiefreeling: Which, you pointed out to me right before his new film Chloe commenced, can only be some sort of euphemism.
brotherfromanother: Yes. Though I am hardly "uncertain" about what to make of Chloe: in short, it may be the most anti-hooker movie ever made.
robbiefreeling: Or anti-woman. Yet, I guess, 6 of one, half a dozen of another....
brotherfromanother: All I know is that between Seyfried's clingy sapphic/incestuous predations and Julianne Moore's hectoring middle-aged no-one-will-fuck me moaning, there's an entire gender that should feel inclined to sue for defamation.
robbiefreeling: Point hammered home that this is about the destructive power of women: Moore's a frigid gynecologist.
brotherfromanother: Not only that, but she works in an "open concept" office with glass windows/doors in front of every vantage point; transparency is not what you should be aiming for as a gynecologist. Speaking of the gyno-thing, isn't it odd how many correspondences this film has with The Hand That Rocks the Cradle? Which of course featured John "Q" DeLancie as a creepy ladies' doctor...
robbiefreeling: And, without spoiling (or as it were, spoiling), a villain who falls to her death from a window (though in this case she's more like a falling angel, natch). Only thing missing: a retarded black gardener.
brotherfromanother: That would presume the presence of any black person in a film by Canada's poet of uncertainty.
robbiefreeling: I seem to recall one in Exotica, enjoying Don McKellar's chest fur.
brotherfromanother: The lack of McKellar here is actually unfortunate, as it might have helped to confirm whether this very funny film was, in fact, a comedy.

robbiefreeling: I kept wondering that myself. Proof that it might have been starts at around the 00:30 point: Opening voice over by Seyfried as she seductively rubs lotion on her legs: "I guess I've always been pretty good with words." I can think of someone who hasn't.... and he's poetically uncertain.
brotherfromanother: I saw Jennifer’s Body last night, and I have concluded that any film that opens with a voice-over by Amanda Seyfried is officially bad. Although the girl-on-girl action in JB is probably a smidge better than the similar scene in Chloe.
robbiefreeling: I will not concede any love to girl-on-girl action scenes, even for camp factor, until Eric Bana and Zac Efron have a teasing makeout session (just to see how it feels! giggle tee hee! pillow fight!). But I will take this time to mention that Chloe is actually a remake of a pretty shitty French film starring Fanny Ardant and (of course!) Emmanuelle Beart called Nathalie from some years back. All Egoyan has done essentially is amp up the overheated Red Shoe Diaries-esque sex scenes and added an action-film climax.
brotherfromanother: I think the movie plays like he was told he had to do a remake of Nathalie by tomorrow morning, but when he opened up the DVD case someone had left The Hand That Rocks the Cradle inside. So he watched that, read a plot synopsis of Nathalie on the back of the case, and rolled camera.
robbiefreeling: Yes, it's impersonal and a remake and perhaps a Cradle knock off, but it's also got some perfect little moments that can only be termed "Egoyan"-esque....moments of poetic uncertainty, if you will. Such as when early twenties Seyfried says to a hockey-playing boy crush (and Moore's young son), "I hate the internet. I like meeting in real places. Like here, in the penalty box."
brotherfromanother: I have never seen an outdoor shinny game with nobody watching it that still has uniformed referees. But there is at least some continuity in the "I hate the internet" rhetoric, which rhymes with similar sentiments in Adoration, which is really boring compared to the sexy hijinks of Chloe. And there is at least a good online-chat joke in Chloe, where Moore's son's girlfriend sees Moore spying via webcam—there was some 21st century panopticon-frisson there. I guess every movie has to have one ok moment, right?

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3 Comments

  • JOHN | March 25, 2010 7:45 AMReply

    oh, you men!

  • robbiefreeling | March 25, 2010 4:49 AMReply

    Egoyan is nothing if not an "establisher." He likes to establish Men and Women. In this case the Man is introduced lecturing on . . . Don Juan. The Woman is introduced donning her gynecologist smock. Will these two Genders ever see eye to eye? Maybe they just a fallen angel . . . or a penalty box.

  • Mark Asch | March 25, 2010 3:54 AMReply

    I liked how Egoyan poetically established the uncertain duality of his leading ladies with a low-angle shot of their fuck-me heels side-by-side in adjacent toilet stalls.

    I mean, I liked many things about this movie. Another thing I liked about it was Amanda Seyfried's cold. It was a really ominous cold, wasn't it? There they are in the hotel room with single precoital bite taken out of the room-service sandwich, talking about how Moore's husband likes to screw his pretty young conquests, and she starts sneezing mid-erotic monologue. They even dropped in a portentously delivered line about how she's "taking Zinc for it," which I then anticipated showing up later in the movie in an incredibly retarded germ-related twist. Alas.