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Chloe

film_CHLOE1All the elements should be in place for a classic, psycho-erotic suspense thriller in Atom Egoyan's Chloe: a flirty, attractive husband who never seems to be home, a neglected wife desperate to recapture his attention, and a beautiful young call girl capable of ripping open the couple's orderly, upscale lives. Egoyan and his excellent cast manage to conjure a credibly sensual atmosphere of hothouse desire (literally, in one key scene that occurs in a steamy, secluded room of an indoor botanical garden). David (Liam Neeson) is a popular university professor, adored by his female students, who's always jetting off somewhere to deliver a guest lecture, staying late at the office for faculty meetings, or chuckling over private emails. His wife, Catherine (Julianne Moore) is a busy gynecologist who spends her days explaining orgasms and other sexual functions to her patients, but has not felt the love herself in a long time.

When she intercepts a text from one of David's admirers, she's sure he's having an affair. After a chance meeting in a ladies room, Catherine hires working girl Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) to discreetly pursue David and report back. This is the part of the story that almost works, thanks to Moore's skillful portrait of Catherine's complex need not only to confirm her husband's infidelity but to participate in his erotic life, even by proxy, as Chloe spins her tales with professional relish. But the suspense film_chloeangle proves elusive. It's not too difficult to guess what the story's major plot twist will be, and by the time it's revealed—when we expect a further complication— there isn't any. Part of the problem may be in the approach of Egoyan and scriptwriter Erin Cressida Wilson to their source material, Nathalie, a 2003 French drama by Anne Fontaine. While plot points are similar in both films, Fontaine's original was shaped as more of a psychological drama about aging, trust, and sexual hunger. Egoyan covers these same touchpoints, but chooses to tack on an implausible thriller element which proves to be his film's undoing. As all that atmosphere is squandered in an increasingly banal, yet incredible finale, the only thing held in suspense is the viewer's disbelief. (R) 96 minutes. (★★1/2) LJ
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2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

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