As anyone who’s seen a few episodes of Big Love at its best can testify, Amanda Seyfried is a promising actress who can more than hold her own. Just refer back to how she quietly stole Jennifer’s Body from under the feet of Megan Fox last year, too.
However, her recent film choices have been distinctly unambitious: Letters To Juliet and Dear John are happily residing on our never-to-watch pile, for instance.
But then there’s Chloe, the new film from Atom Egoyan, in which she takes the title role. It’s actually Egoyan retooling an earlier feature, Nathalie…, for Hollywood audiences, and as such, it turns out to be his most commercial movie to date. That said, an Atom Egoyan commercial movie is hardly impinging on Michael Bay’s place in the world, as he’s crafted a quiet, intriguing little thriller, one that hinges on Seyfried’s performance.
It’s a three-hander at heart, with Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore’s married couple at the heart of it. However, when Moore’s Catherine suspects Neeson’s David of playing away, she hires the services of Seyfried’s Chloe to get to the bottom of things. Chloe’s job is to see if she can seduce David, and to report back to Catherine. And predictably, it doesn’t all go to plan.
The marketing of the film was originally quite keen to play up the ‘erotic thriller’ element of it, and certainly Egoyan isn’t worried about pulling back on this at all. His three actors too lift this far above a video shop bargain basement genre flick, and it’s Seyfried in particular who demonstrates her acting potential. Her role isn’t necessarily a particularly interesting one, but she develops Chloe as an intriguing, three-dimensional character.
Sadly, the film around her isn’t anywhere near as interesting, to the point where most of it you’ll see coming a mile off. That leaves the interplay between the actors as the main reason to watch, and to be fair, there’s a lot to enjoy there. But the problem is that the foundations that the film are based on are surprisingly slight, and there’s a real feeling of a lost opportunity, that perhaps there was a more interesting movie in the midst of this somewhere. As it stands, it’s a solid thriller, with strong performances. But it’s far from essential.
Chloe isn’t the kind of film that’s desperately crying out for high definition treatment, but the Blu-ray serves the disc well nonetheless. It’s a nicely shot film, and the picture quality of the disc reflects that well. It’s not a demonstrative transfer, but it is a quietly effective one. The audio track is more dialogue-focused, and there’s not actually that much surround to the sound stage. But again, it’s a tick-box job, perfectly well done.
As for the extras, the commentary track from the US release appears to be missing, but there’s lots of compensation for that.
There’s a near-90 minute documentary on Atom Egoyan for starters, which is quite diverting. You also get video interviews with Egoyan, Moore and Seyfried, an alternate ending and a couple of deleted scenes. Plus, you get a photo gallery and trailer. It’s a comprehensive selection.
The downside? There are some forced trailers at the start, which you can skip on an individual basis, but you can’t hit Menu to get out of them altogether. When one of them is for a packet of Maltesers, it’s particularly irritating. Plus, it doesn’t make me want to buy Maltesers, either. That irritation aside, this is a fine disc.
The Film:The Disc:
Chloe will be released on Blu-ray on July 19 and can be pre-ordered from the Den Of Geek Store.