Movies: Chloe * * *
(16, limited release)
Toronto has played New York so many times at this stage it must have an identity crisis. However, in Atom Egoyan's Chloe it gets a rare opportunity to play itself, warts, slush, snow and all. Like most of Mr Egoyan's films, Chloe is bound to divide both audiences and critics, but for me it's a hell of an improvement on his last effort, the tedious Adoration.
Julianne Moore leads a fine cast as Catherine Stewart, a busy gynaecologist who finds time to organise a surprise party for her husband David (Liam Neeson).
David lectures in New York, and when he misses his flight and spoils the party, Catherine gets the uneasy feeling that something may be amiss. Catherine becomes convinced that he is having an affair. So much so that she comes up with the bizarre notion of hiring a young prostitute she has noticed working near her office to hang around in a café that David frequents and see what happens.
When Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) begins reporting back that David approached her and that they have begun having sex, Catherine is both repulsed and fascinated, and is soon floundering emotionally in a mess of her own making.
Chloe is an at-times explicitly erotic thriller with noirish overtones, and features fine performances from Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried in particular, the latter unrecognisable from the goody-two-shoes she played in Mamma Mia. And if Chloe's plot occasionally stretches credibility, it's a stylish, absorbing and darkly moody little film.