The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Pictures Classics - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 96 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
Subtitles: Engish, English SDH
Starring: Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Max Thierot
Directed by: Atom Egoyan
Music by: Mychael Danna
Written by: Erin Cressida Wilson
Region Code: A
Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 13, 2010
"If the one you love was lying to you, how far would you go to find out the truth?"
A missed flight...a lack of intimacy...guarded secrets... To Catherine (Julianne Moore), every detail suggests that her husband David (Liam Neeson) has been unfaithful. But there's only one way to know for sure. Catherine pays the mysterious Chloe (Amanda Seyfriend), an escort, to seduce her husband. She wants to know exactly how far she can trust him. But soon Catherine finds herself pushed beyond all limits as passions burn and obsessions build.
Life is rarely depicted in simple black and white terms. Chloe is a film about a woman, Catherine (Moore), that suspects her husband of infidelity based upon extremely thin circumstantial evidence. Their relationship is strained and has been for a while however there is no mention of prior unfaithful activity. The script purposefully paints a vague picture of David (Neeson). He is a college professor who works long hours and seems overly close to some of his students some of whom are female. David is the flirtatious and charming type who seems insensitive to his wife’s feelings as he often engages in flirtatious behavior with other women in her presence. Catherine is an attractive, intelligent woman who has built a successful practice as a gynecologist. The couple has a rambunctious teenage son who consistently divides them. Catherine is noticeably insecure and when she learns that David lied about his activities during a recent business trip she decides to put his faithfulness to the test.
She approaches an attractive young woman that she suspects to be an escort/call girl named Chloe (Seyfried) and inquires as to her interest in helping her “tempt” David by coming on to him. Chloe questions her motives and after hearing them agrees to do it. Catherine meets with Chloe several days later and listens as Chloe recounts the results of her encounter with David. Initially she indicates that her advances toward him were fruitless but that David expressed interest in meeting with her in a more discrete location. It was there that she says things became physically intimate. Unsure of how far David would be willing to go Catherine enlists Chloe to meet with David again. It is at this point that Catherine’s need for answers takes a dark turn that evolves into something much more than she bargained for.
After seeing the trailer for Chloe I thought it looked sort of interesting (primarily based on the cast) but didn’t hold much hope that it would be a compelling or original entry in the obsession/thriller genre. After watching it I would say that my instincts were right. The premise revolves around an insecure woman who tempts fate and her husband by hiring a mysterious young call girl to cajole him in order to test his faithfulness. Up to that point the plot, while twisted, was probably fathomable. As things unfold it becomes evident that the intention is to lure us into believing one thing while something else is building to a climactic discovery. The truth was obvious to me during Chloe and Catherine’s first discussion as she recounted her initial meeting with David (which is told by her and visually depicted via flashbacks). The reasoning for it is revealed later in the film however that was pretty evident also. The screenplay attempts to keep the audience off balance through use of open ended situations and ambiguous details which any sleuth worth their salt could see through.
I could live with that especially if the real focus is meant to be on the story’s erotic sense of allure. I knew that wasn’t the case when the third act degenerated into a series of silly, improbable and contrived situations. That was topped off by a predictable and corny finale reminiscent of a made for TV movie shown on the Lifetime Network. Amanda Seyfried gave a credible performance by lending her portrayal the right amount of carnal proclivity and deceitful passion. Julianne Moore is a proven actress but I felt her character lacked the depth necessary for derived acceptance, although there were moments where she shined especially in a select few sequences with Seyfried. I appreciated the irony depicted in the film but couldn’t get around the poorly conceived story which displayed an indifference to the audiences intelligence. How much you like Chloe may be determined by how appealing you find its erotic theme and its implementation with respect to the cast. If you are willing to forgive its shallow script and untenable characterizations you may enjoy it even more.
The rating is for strong sexual content including graphic dialogue, nudity and language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Chloe comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.9 Mbps.
This video presentation featured crisp, transparent detail that revealed subtle minutia in close ups and provided discernible depth and dimension during mid level and wide angle camera pans. The video made dynamic (but not overstated) use of contrast so that images were bright with punchy, resplendent colors and deep oversaturated reds that were eye catching. Flesh tones were delineated with warm highlights that mated well with the film’s visual style. Blacks were not especially deep but I thought that they stood out nicely when onscreen with mixed content. Shadow detail was good enough that I could make out details in backgrounds during scenes containing uneven or limited lighting. Grain was evident and appeared in even layers that were naturally rendered throughout. The film is shot using some near field, and tight camera angles which I felt were enhanced in high definition.
This film isn’t the best for showing off all of the attributes that lossless sound offers but it sounded quite good. The 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack presented this rather front heavy presentation with clear, refined dialogue, a open soundstage, and splashes of atmospheric ambience that expanded the depth of the sound field.
- Commentary with actress Amanda Seyfried, director Atom Egoyan, and writer Erin Cressida Wilson
- (HD) Introducing Chloe: The making of Chloe directed by Atom Egoyan – 25 minute featurette
- (HD) 2 deleted scenes
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- (HD) Previews: The Runaways, The Square, The secret in their eyes, A single man, The pillars of the earth, A prophet, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinksy, Damages: Season 1
- BD-Live enabled
Chloe is a romantic thriller that depicts the ironic and ultimately dangerous circumstances faced by a woman who tempts fate and her husband by hiring a mysterious young call girl to cajole him in order test his faithfulness. The story takes a dark and erotic turn as she soon learns that there is more to this young woman than she could have imagined. While the film has potential early on it eventually descends into a series of silly, improbable and contrived situations that displays an indifference to the audience's intelligence. I thought that Amanda Seyfried did a credible job in the title role. If you like her, this film is worth seeing solely based upon its erotic theme and several steamy moments. While I enjoyed them they weren’t enough to overcome its shallow script and untenable characterizations. It comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony in a respectable offering that features strong audio/video quality and a middling set of extras that include a decent making of documentary and audio commentary. If you’re already a fan feel free to pick this up otherwise a rental should suffice.
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