By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Loves Ya, But…
Look… I am rooting for Atom Egoyan… I am rooting for Amanda Seyfried… we are all, obviously, greatly sympathetic to and rooting for Liam Neeson, who soldiered on after a terrible unexpected personal loss… and I am even rooting for Julianne Moore, Ivan Reitman and Erin Cressida Wilson. The film landscape that Chloe is working is challenging for audiences and for funding. God bless the ambition.
Those challenges are well documented in this NYT piece about the film.
And I appreciate that the word “remake” isn’t the best bait for a film that’s looking for distribution… especially when the film being remade got a 2 screen release in the US on the way to DVD.
But the film that Chloe is based on, Nathalie…, is not only a terrific movie in its own right, with three very strong performances, but the filmmaker, Anne Fontaine, is – like Atom Egoyan – one of the few top-notch filmmakers who make movies about women that are not “chick flicks,” but serious, challenging, and often underappreciated in America.
Fontaine is traveling America now with her Sony Classics release Coco Before Chanel, which like all her best work, lingers in memory like the perfume of a lover you can’t seem to forget. My first encounter with her as a director was How I Killed My Father, which I wandered into at TIFF with some free time to fill. Amazing. Nathalie… continued my love of her work, in part because it was not what one might expect from the synopsis. It’s sexy at times, but so not the way we are used to seeing on screen, with the younger, sexy girl being objectified by the filmmaker. It’s more an observation of that objectification than an invitation for the audience to objectify her. The Girl From Monaco was her romp with a twist that got here this last summer. And now, Coco, which is so much more than I imagined… not really a bio-pic, though it is… not really a feminism film, though it is… not really a period piece, though it is.
Anyway… I understand why the producers and sales company might want to hide Nathalie… under a bushel. But it’s not respectful of an artist whose growth parallels Egoyan’s.