ATOM EGOYAN had an unusual ally in helping to find the intimacy at the core of his new erotic drama CHLOE – a harsh Canadian winter.

The title character is a young escort hired by a doctor to seduce her university professor husband. The music professor’s close relationship with his students – especially the female ones – has his wife doubting his fidelity.

The escort, portrayed by AMANDA SEYFRIED of MEAN GIRLS, reports back to the doctor (played by JULIANNE MOORE) after each encounter. A perilous relationship between two women ostensibly sharing pieces of the same man ensues.

The script called for a romantic and seductive setting – spring time in San Francisco. ATOM EGOYAN said Monday in an interview promoting the movie at the TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, where it had its world premiere.

What the audience sees on the screen is Toronto in the grip of winter. Snow is piled on curbs and characters speak through frosty clouds when they’re not taking refuge inside.

“At first I was going, ‘Am I crazy? I’m shooting a film in Toronto in February and I’m trying to make it look sexy?‘ ” pondered the director.

“In fact, it helps you. There’s something very romantic about the very cold exterior and these very warm places that people retreat to and have these very intimate conversations.”

JULIANNE MOORE, who called the shoot earlier this year “shockingly cold,” said she “absolutely” agreed that the bitter outside temperature helped feed the sensuality of the movie.

“It’s a very interior piece emotionally too. It’s about the nature of intimacy and how you share things, the stuff that’s maybe not out in the open.”

The film marks a departure for ATOM EGOYAN. It’s his first work to hit the big screen in which he didn’t pen the script personally.

He became Canada’s foremost independent filmmaker by crafting nonlinear tales that didn’t move from point A to B in storytelling. His most celebrated works are his most challenging, such as EXOTICA and THE SWEET HEREAFTER.

“It was a really different process,” he said of making CHLOE.

“Liberating, inasmuch as you know the story line should work.”

The “structural risks” he took in other films weren’t necessary for CHLOE, a genre piece that, he hopes, avoids being formulaic.

“I think I resist formula really obviously in my own films because they’re not really based on any sort of genre at all. In this one, I hope I’ve been able to bring some of the tone of those films into a more linear story.”

The Egoyan sensibility is definitely present in CHLOE.

The director makes films about human behaviour, said JULIANNE, who shares a number of erotically charged scenes with AMANDA – an actor more than 20 years her junior.

“This is really tricky material and in somebody else’s hands could be sensationalistic or prurient. With Atom, you know it’s not going to be.”

The film has a distributor in “every country in the world except the U.S.”

“We have offers from the U.S. We want to get the best possible offer we can get. That’s pending. It’s going to happen.”

CHLOE is scheduled to open in Canadian theatres during the December holiday period.


  1. i want to see this.

    but i guess the days of THE ADJUSTER aren’t coming back.


  2. glim, we’ve had discussions about ATOM EGOYAN and THE ADJUSTER before.

    Have to confess that I’ve never seen any of his films in their entirety. They all play here theatrically and they’re on television quite often. He clearly has his own definitive style.

    He’s a confident filmmaker with an interesting unique POV. But somehow I can never finish these films when I watch them on the tube. I guess our sensibilites don’t actually coincide.

    But a lot of the best known Canadian cinema is like that – arty in a perilously bleak, minimalistic manner. There’s usually not a lot of glamour to it.

    CHLOE looks intriguing as hell to me. I have nothing against crowd pleasers. Some of my favourite films would certainly fit in that category.

    But films that are dark and complex draw me in like a magnet. The relationship dynamics are going to be highly charged in this. Good or bad, this film won’t be ordinary in any way.

    I’m interested to see AMANDA prove herself. Accepting this role is a brilliant move on her part. The character of CHLOE is a 360 degree turn from KAREN in MEAN GIRLS. If she can pull this off successfully, then she might have serious longevity.

    You don’t generally survive in the industry for decades if all you’ve got to offer is beauty. I’d love to see her give a great performance in this that would knock people on their asses.

    Yeah, many of the better known Canadian films are deeply melancholy or filled with tragic or calamitous events. There aren’t a lot of great English language comedies.

    Must be the cold air. Sharpens your intellect.

  3. But films that are dark and complex draw me in like a magnet.

    maybe this fits the bill??? i think i may need to see this right now.

    i wish…

  4. i’ve never seen amanda in anything. so i could be for a treat???

    i’m pretty scared egoyan used the term linear. that’s never been a fave of mine.

    just hoping…

    and hey, you remember our past exchanges a bit.

    cool… 🙂

  5. My sweet adorable darling glimby…

    Seems to me that Craig (over at the magnificent LIVING IN CINEMA) was talking about DOGTOOTH. Quite a few people on the net are.

    I don’t think it would be to my taste, honey. I like the glamorous, sexy, provocative stuff. DOGTOOTH seems overtly odd and quirky.

    But I sincerely hope it comes to Houston if you’re on the look out for it.

    Of course I recall our past exchanges.


    Not only do I talk to you frequently away from the site, but I’m constantly reediting articles and working on improvements to CP to make it better and more interesting for everyone. So I’m consistently looking at old conversations that I’ve had with you and other people.

    Why would I forget what you’ve said to me?

    You’re my friend. Don’t you think that I give a damn??? I may be a wild Irish lass. But I do have standards.

    I honestly don’t know what you would think about AMANDA, glim. I’ve only seen her in MEAN GIRLS. Her character is the stereotypical sexy dumb blonde. But she was really good and tremendously funny.

    People that don’t know a lot about acting think that dumb blondes are easy roles. Absolutely NOT. You need nuance and serious comedic timing to be believable as someone like that.

    When my friends would scoff, I would say, “Think it’s easy? It’s rather difficult to play a silly or dense person and do it with any level of competence. Someone that really was stupid would never be able to pull it off. They’d just stand there looking like idiots – slack jawed and staring into space.”

    After they thought about it, they had to agree with me.

    But I’ve seen clips from CHLOE. AMANDA is completely different in this role. If she can do this well, then I’d say that she’s practically unstoppable.

    Good news on that front. CHLOE is coming to our annual film festival. If I’m not doing anything big around the middle of October, I just might seek it out so that I can review it ahead of time for the site.

    I can’t believe that our fest has been kicking around for decades and I have yet to attend a screening.


    But it might be well worth the time. I did want to see it and I don’t want to wait until CHRISTMAS.

    Thanks so much, glim. You’re a thoroughly awesome southern cinephile…

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