It isn’t very often that we see French films re-made for the stateside market, and when we do chances are they’re broad comedies à la The Birdcage, Three Men and a Baby, Nine Months, et al. So I was a little intrigued when I heard that Anne Fontaine’s 2003 erotic drama Nathalie… was getting the English language treatment. It’s echt French, concerning a bizarre love triangle in which a frigid wife (Fanny Ardent) pays a prostitute (Emmanuelle Béart) to seduce her husband (Gérard Depardieu) so that she may in turn absorb all the gooey details. The new incarnation, renamed Chloe, stars Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried, and Liam Neeson in these respective roles, and it looks to be no less sexy than its predecessor. How will the rest translate? Well, it’s worth noting that the director is Canadian art-house mainstay Atom Egoyan, who’s not exactly a thoughtless shill. I used to admire Egoyan a great deal more around the era of Calendar and The Sweet Hereafter, but have since cooled owing to pics like last year’s magnificently dull and overwrought Adoration. It’ll be interesting to see if Chloe proves an artistic comeback, though it’ll be beside the point box office-wise, as the film will likely succeed or fail based on audiences desire to see Seyfried vamp it up. The French trailer (after the jump) suggests no shortage of prurient business.
I wonder if Egoyan might not consider this something of a “sell-out” picture: a re-make with a name cast and lotsa sex. Ivan Reitman even produced! Sure, it’s not exactly a buddy cop film, but for the director of The Sweet Hereafter, it might be about as mainstream as he’s willing to go.