Monday, November 11, 2013

Film Pairing — Two That Might Have Slipped Your Notice

Julianne Moore is one of the finest actors you might not have noticed, though she has been nominated for an Academy Award four times. She often appears in offbeat films that prove challenging for critics and don’t quite meet box office expectations.  Among her many movies are: Far From Heaven, The Big Lebowski, The Hours, Savage Grace, The Kids Are All Right and A Single Man. However, two of her films seemed to have slipped through the cracks completely: Chloe, a semi-lovely erotic puzzle and 6 Souls, a gamble for even the most tolerant of audiences.

Chloe is a beautiful young woman confident she can bring sexual happiness to others and apparently sees no reason she shouldn’t be paid if that too brings pleasure to the other.  But nothing and no one are what they appear to be. It would be too easy and very wrong to say too much.  Liam Neeson plays the husband with a roving eye, but is it any more than an appreciation of beauty in passing? Julianne Moore is the wife who suspects her husband is having an affair. Is she more jealous than hurt? Amanda Seyfried is Chloe, the sex kitten who disturbs the entire dysfunctional family, including Max Theriot, the couple’s barely post pubescent son. Atom Egoyan directed this intelligent, steamy 2009 film.

The idea of dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality) in fiction was a trend for a while.  It was a great device for crime fiction in particular (Think Psycho). In 6 Hours (also released as Shelter), Julianne Moore finds herself trying to unravel the five people inhabiting Jonathan Rhys Meyers body and preventing the deaths that seem connected to them. It is meant to be a haunting story of one powerful evil spirit trying to keep himself alive.  The setting in part of Pennsylvania that time forgot makes some haunting cinematic moments.  The original idea, the cast and the cinematography are promising. In the end this is one of those films that can be watched and enjoyed with a talkative friend.

As the nights get colder and the films won’t keep you awake all on their own — though Chloe (2013) has some fascinating twists — I’d suggest some Irish coffee as an accompaniment to this double feature, most of your friends probably never heard of.



Richard L. Pangburn said...

Thanks for your old gent detective novels and for your marvelous reviews here.

At first such a relationship between the older man and the young woman gave me pause. But in kind of a coincidental sequence, I've lately been reading about a bunch such relationships that were sound and worked--the marriage of Eugene O'Neil's daughter to Charlie Chaplin among them.

Not for me, certainly, but live and let live, I'd say now.

Ronald Tierney said...

Thank you. Working on the 11th old gent detective novel as well as a few in the San Francisco mystery series. please keep reading, and your comments are welcome anytime.