Director Atom Egoyan (Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter) reinterprets the French thriller Nathalie… in this drama about a family on the road to self-destruction. Catherine (Julianne Moore) and David (Liam Neeson) are a seemingly happy, professional couple with a teenage son. But Catherine, suspicious after her husband is a no-show to his surprise birthday party due to a missed flight, hires Chloe, a prostitute (Amanda Seyfried) to find out whether he is cheating on her. To test his fidelity, Catherine orders Chloe’s to seduce David in a series of encounters. As Chloe’s reports become more and more graphic, Catherine’s orchestrations get increasingly out of control, throwing the family further into jeopardy.
Chloe by director Atom Egoyan
Chloe is a film about marriage. While the central marriage examined is between Catherine (Julianne Moore) and David (Liam Neeson), it is also a study of how far we might go to keep a marriage alive, to reintroduce eroticism into a relationship, to test ideas of fidelity and trust, both in our partners and in ourselves.
From the moment we auditioned Amanda Seyfried as Chloe, the film became a reality for me. We needed to find a young actress who was at once wise, vulnerable, hardened and completely open. Chloe is a repository of other people’s fantasies, but someone who is deeply in search of a narrative for her own life. Her meeting with Catherine is unexpectedly powerful. It rocks her sense of reality with a force that she could never have expected. The two women find themselves caught in a web of desire, sadness and fantasy.
Chloe is an observation of emotional dependency, for as much as Chloe becomes hopelessly infatuated with the figure of Catherine as a protector and role model, Catherine is also drawn to the way Chloe helps her to re-imagine her own marriage. What I am most interested in exploring in any film is the essential mystery and complexity of any meeting between people, be they strangers or intimate partners.