Friday, February 12, 2010

Yes, No, Maybe So: Chloe

We reduce movie trailers to yes/no/maybe so components. It's an expectation management system so that we can go in (mostly) neutral. Ac-cen-tchu-ate the positive ...and negative. My gimmicks are too complex!

In Atom Egoyan's latest feature, Julianne Moore hires Amanda Seyfriend (title character) to test her husband Liam Neeson. Didn't Julianne ever listen to Kate Bush's "Babooshka" growing up. Fidelity tests never end well.

Two hot women getting it on? Yes doubled. That particular male gene did not escape me. Although for a split second I flashed back to Boogie Night's "will you be my mommy?" scene with Amanda standing in for Heather Graham's Rollergirl (Amanda in skates? Mmmm). I blame Julianne's love of incestuous undertones for this hallucination!

Filmmakers still have trouble making our modern computer and cel phone heavy lives exciting onscreen. There's something about e-mail, chat, instant messaging, cel phones and web surfing that is defiantly anti-cinematic. I sincerely hope this isn't an hour of Liam and Julianne staring at LED screens, cross cut with sexygirldrama! by way of Amanda's cel phone. If so, it won't be any fun at all.

"You think you can just buy me and then I'm just going to go away?"
On the other hand, Amanda as a Mean Girl again? Might be fun though can she do it, dramatically speaking? We know she can handle it comedically. It's just that she reads very sweet onscreen. This could go horribly wrong. It might be yet another film that is elaborated plotted just to demonize female sexuality somehow. And that's so tired. But maybe it's the trailer's overemphatic text tag-lining -- "SHE WILL BECOME EVERYTHING YOU FEAR" -- that's worrying me. It's making her look like a husband-hunting-homewrecking-baby-nursing-Moore-killing psychopath. And we don't need another one of those.*

Chloe opens on March 26th.
Are you a yes, no or maybe so on this one?

Once again, Julianne... You shoulda listened to Kate Bush! Kate Bush is the answer. Kate Bush knows.

Oh Lord. Babooshka, Babooshka, Babooshka yah yah-aaah
*I still hate Rebecca DeMornay for rigging that glass house to chop Julianne to bits in The Hand That Rocks The Cradle. You don't touch my Julie!


Clint said...

I was on the "maybe so" train...until Kate Bush came into the picture. Now it's yes, yes, yes!

Jason Adams said...

I was so hoping you'd work a Hand That Rocks the Cradle reference into this. Good job Nat! ;-)

BeRightBack said...

Atom Egoyan movies are frequently sold as genre pictures (like Exotica) and never end up quite like that. I would be really surprised if this is a straightforward bitches-be-crazy thriller; it really hasn't been his M.O.

BeRightBack said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Robert said...

I can't escape the thought that every young blonde woman that gets cast in an Atom Egoyan film was supposed to be Sarah Polley.

Erich Kuersten said...

I don't much cotton to Atom Egoyan, who I find airless and precious/contrived. BUT I do love your use of the impact font! I freaking LOVE the Impact font. I use it for all my own film credits and titles. And it's a good format, this yes/no/maybe I do - and a good observation about cell fone screen/IM movies. Have I told you lately, Nathan, that you rock? and not just the cradle...

Jim T said...

Um, Nathaniel, your NO seems kind of 'so what?'.

For me the possible problem is that it looks creepier than necessary.

City_Of_Lights said...

I think I am a "maybe so" on Chloe, but I wholeheartedly agree that the depiction of cell phone/computer use in films is boring and scenes involving such use are usually too long. A definite problem in another Neeson flick "The Other Man". Not THE problem, but one of many for that film. The last computer scene I enjoyed was probably the one from Ghost where Sam scares the hell out of Carl! Yeah, it's been a long time!

I heart Neeson and Moore so I know I will be seeing this one regardless of the trailer or reviews.

mrripley said...

A killer Julianne line in The hand that rocke the cradle "marlene craven you want me to spell it"

i watched out for every film with her in after that perf yes even body of evidence.

Deus Ex Machina said...

Oh, Atom Egoyan has gotten a bit too horny for my taste lately. And I do appreciate your take on how jarring is to see a text message, email, or chat in a movie. It's hard to imagine movies like, let's say Elevator to the gallows, operate off a cellphone or text messaging. Those things just get in the way and they're used so lazily nowadays, you wanna reveal some important plot point?! There, you've got an email! UGH!

cinephile said...

MAYBE SO - Because of the reviews it got at Toronto. Some like it a lot (e.g. Roger Ebert), but there are others who passionately hate it.

Btw: Isn't it great to see Moore in all these dramatic roles / Festival movies again, working with great directors?

Pippa Lee
A Single Man
Kids are all right

P.S. A great computer scene is in Closer (the cybersex-chat of Owen / Law)

Mike Lippert said...

I'm totally yes on this one. I'm yes on any new Egoyan movie though. We Canadians must support our great directors seeing as we have so precious few.

@Deus Ex Machina- Egoyan has gotten horny? What about Exotica? What about The Adjuster? Sex has always been a huge part of Egoyan's work.

Also, the other big part of Egoyan's work has been technology. Family Viewing, Speaking Parts, Adoration, all are about technology in relation to humans, and I think he does it quite well.

J.D. said...

I <3 the "Babooshka" bringing-up.

Also, I'd basically see anything Egoyan does, though I've only seen two of his films. So many different factors make me WANT THIS, whether it'll actually be good or not.


@BeRightBack -- i love the new genre classications "BitchesBeCrazy" and must now steal the joke!

@JA -- have i mentioned that i totally love Julianne in that? It's like her only early performance I cherish... except for that line reading in Body of Evidence "what are those... bites!?!" oh and that entire sequence in Benny & Joon where they watch her horror movie.

@Clint, JDJudge -- i'm so happy to have Kate Bush loving readers.

@Robert. Mike -- astute points

@Erich -- thank you.

@cinephile -- oh you're so right about that Closer scene. Ok, that was a movie that new how to use computers without bogging things down with them.

Anonymous said...


I'm down for this. I'm not expecting this to be great (if it surprises me in that sense then awesome but no high hopes.) I love the idea of a crazy sexual thriller with Julianne Moore. And hey.. it's Toronto! I live there.

Aaron said...

I'm a HELL YES. Bring it on Julianne and Amanda! LOVE those two!

gabrieloak said...

The movie has an awful ending which I won't talk about but much of it is entertaining if somewhat unbelievable. It helps to see it in Toronto where it was filmed. I was staying at a B&B right near one of the locations, a hothouse.

I thought Moore was fine in this and I liked Neeson as well. The actor who plays their son is very good.

This may not be Egoyan's best but it shows him going in a new direction.

I have to hand it to Moore, she chooses interesting parts (30 Rock for example).

mrripley said...

YYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHJulianne got her mojo back no more Peirce Brosnan comedies or sci fi thrillers about lost sprogs!!

cinephile said...

"You think you can just buy me and then I'm just going to go away?"
is so reminsicient of
"I'm not gonna be IGNORED, Dan!"
(The great Glenn in Fatal Attraction).


cinephile -- i was thinking that too except it's so much more clumsy on the tongue and therefore not as blunt/scary as Close's immortal line.

Flora said...

Yes. But why this Bush oerson? She is interesting, but what has this got to do with the movie? Besides, she drove me crazy with Babooshka, which means Granny.