Friday, March 26, 2010
Chloe: A Review
I had an opportunity to see the new film Chloe after returning from my travels in the Southwest. Visually, this is a stunning film.
The way director Atom Egoyan captured the color red particularly is simply breath-taking. Egoyan managed to translate eroticism and the text of misunderstood sociality well largely due to his expert use of the color palate. Economizing on language makes sense especially if other paralinguistic things do the talking such as color or the act of gazing through windows, or the text of clothing. The first thing I noticed while watching this film was the almost perfect way the color of the house matched Julianne Moore's red dress in the beginning of the film as well as Amanda Seyfried's character's red fingernails. Homework well done, indeed!
As we were in the theater I kept thinking of how much I had missed seeing Liam Neeson in a truly substantial role. Neeson doesn't just play the professor role well; he exudes it most effortlessly. There is much to say about talent shining through as a result of smart pairing and true professionalism. Few male characters play the 'good guy' characters as convincingly as Neeson.
Enter Julianne Moore.
Moore is the kind of actor who facilitates. One of the films in which I truly enjoyed her performance is a little indie title called Trust the Man. In it, she plays a well-known actress who struggles with the daily burden of quotidianity, family responsibilities, and female insecurity. It's in this little film that I remember feeling justified in my usual enjoyment of her work. Moore is a pro and it shoes in the kind of work that her co-stars manage to produce. More recently, refer to Colin Firth's own Oscar-nominated performance in A Single Man which I reviewed here.
Chloe takes place in Toronto. The vibrant downtown is beautifully captured by Egoyan's lens. The area of Yorkville comes to life beautifully and the pace of daily life seems to match the pace of the narration quite well.
Another thing that struck me while watching the film is how much range Amanda Seyfried is showing. As a friend of mine noted to me about Seyfried's work in this film, "it breaks her out of a mold she might otherwise be stuck in." Her work in Big Love is worthy of attention and I have long thought that she has the potential to be very, very good. And that she is in this film.
This is a beautiful, sad, visually rich, and narration-mature film. The performances by Moore and Neeson stand out. But what perhaps is the making of the film is Amanda Seyfried's convincing portrayal of delusion and disassociation from reality. Ah, and the way the director captured the color red. It made me think of Pedro Almodovar for a bit. Maybe I'll revisit an Almodovar title or two in the near future.
graph per wikipedia