Chloe, the latest film by one of Canada’s greatest film makers, Atom Egoyan, is much like many of his other films, spectacular. Julianne Moore plays Catherine Stewart, who’s suspects her husband David (Liam Neeson) of cheating. Catherine hires an escort to seduce her husband, and report on his behaviour.
The plot summary of this film doesn’t need any more than that. Egoyan’s tale is a thriller about desire and human nature. Julianne Moore’s and Amanda Seyfried’s performances are spectacular. The two actors are able to create an emotional connection for the audience to understand before the characters themselves understand it. Neeson, however seems more of a supporting character, but that’s okay, Chloe describes her relationship with David so well that the audience doesn’t need him there.
While the major points of the plot are rather predictable, it’s not something that matters, instead it’s the emotion of the manipulations both from Chloe and Catherine which are of interest for the film.
My friend for the film commented that she didn’t like how much they debeautified Moore for the majority of the film. I, on the other hand, believe that the pale white dishevelled look of Catherine perfectly displayed how she felt about herself. Old, tired, and undesirable. Most of us have a distorted self-image, and to show the audience this beautiful woman as she might see herself, is a great imagery.
I can’t really discuss this film without discussing Toronto. A lot of films are shot in this city, but in most of the films, Toronto is pretending to be another city. For some odd reason, people aren’t interested in seeing Toronto be itself. The frequency in which Toronto acts as itself is few and far between1. More interesting perhaps is that the city in incidental to the film, and yet it is so strongly Toronto that the audience knows Catherine’s a gynaecologist to the rich, not because of her office, but because it’s in Yorkville; we scratch our heads at the ridiculously long walk from Café Diplomatico to Allan Gardens; and finally we the R.O.M.’s crystal as something beautiful2, but that’s probably because it’s not seen defacing the beauty of the original building.
Egoyan really took an eye to showcasing Toronto’s architectural beauty. From the R.O.M.3 to the A.G.O.4 to OCAD5 to that house on Heathdale to Allan Gardens to Little Italy to Yorkville. While Last Night showed Toronto during the apocalypse, barren and overexposed, Chloe is a love poem to Toronto from the eye of someone who loves this beautiful city, something it deserves.