An Overlooked Liam Neeson Movie Just Hit Netflix

By Michileen Martin | 26 seconds ago

liam neeson the other man

In spite of Liam Neeson being on the doorstep of his seventies, the Northern Irish actor is increasingly cementing his reputation as the man with “a particular set of skills.” Whether he’s ripping through the criminals who kidnapped his daughter in 2008’s Taken, fighting the bad guys as a trucker in this year’s The Ice Road, or stepping into the shoes of the late George Peppard as Hannibal in 2010’s The A-Team, the Oscar-nominated actor continues to grab action roles. So, it may be surprising to remember the diverse array of parts he’s landed that didn’t include punching bad guys in the throat. Such an overlooked hit is 2009’s Chloe, in which Neeson plays nothing more exciting than a college professor, though his life and those of his family get steadily much more interesting.

When we meet Liam Neeson’s David Stewart and his wife Catherine (Julianne Moore), their marriage isn’t doing as well as David thinks. While she’s still drawn to her husband, Catherine doesn’t feel the same attraction from David. She suspects her husband is cheating on her with one of his students and, rather than confront him, she chooses a route that is not only unorthodox, but ultimately proves even more dangerous than she realizes. Catherine hires the sex worker Chloe (Amanda Seyfried) to try to seduce David in order to test his faithfulness.

amanda seyfried julianne moore chloe

Catherine first catches sight of Chloe while she’s out to dinner with her husband and colleagues. Figuring out what Chloe does for a living, Catherine corners her in the bathroom and gives her the proposition to “test” the loyalty of Liam Neeson’s character. Chloe agrees and during her first update to Catherine, reveals that while she has not had sex with David, he tried to kiss her. The now angry wife urges Chloe to keep going, and the sex worker agrees, and consistently gives Catherine reports on the physical boundaries she and David continue to cross.

As Chloe’s reports continue, Catherine is surprised when she finds herself increasingly excited and aroused at the sex worker’s retelling of her encounters with Liam Neeson’s character. Eventually a steamy affair erupts between between Chloe and Catherine, which leads to a shocking confrontation with David. To say anymore would do nothing but ruin the many waiting surprises. Suffice to say, much of what we believe to be true in Chloe gets turned on its head.

julianne moore amanda seyfried chloe

Directed by the twice Oscar-nominated director and writer Atom Egoyan, Chloe is a remake of the 2003 French film Nathalie… which starred Gérard Depardieu as Bernard — the original version of Liam Neeson’s Chloe character. While you might normally expect foreign language films to push content boundaries and overall be more sexually provocative than their English language counterparts, in the case of Chloe vs. Nathalie…, it’s the opposite. In Nathalie…, the jealous wife and sex worker never have a physical relationship. The ending of the film is likewise much more tame than what we get in Chloe.

Critics apparently didn’t think that the more exciting and tantalizing aspects of Liam Neeson’s erotic thriller not only didn’t make it an improvement upon Nathalie…, it didn’t even make it equal to the source material. Chloe has an unimpressive 51% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, as opposed to Nathalie…‘s 71%. Ironically, one person who may disagree with the critics is Nathalie…‘s writer and director, Anne Fontaine. In a 2009 interview, during the lead-up to Chloe‘s release, Fontaine confessed to being eager to see the remake. She said that she was not fond of Nathalie… and a big reason for this is that she — like Egoyan — wanted her female characters to have an affair, but the actresses refused to portray a lesbian relationship.

liam neeson julianne moore chloe

Regardless of how he feels about the quality of the film, Liam Neeson’s memory of the making of the erotic thriller is likely colored by a horrible tragedy. As recounted by the New York Times, while Neeson was in the midst of filming Chloe, his wife Natasha Richardson was injured on a Quebec ski slope, and died days later. While the film schedule was altered for Neeson, just two days after his wife’s death, Neeson returned to set to finish his part of the film. In an April 2009 interview, Egoyan called the actor’s return to the set “an unspeakably generous thing for him to do,” and followed it up by calling Neeson “an extraordinary, extraordinary person.”

If you’re a Netflix subscriber and you’re curious about whether you agree with the critics or not, you’re in luck. Starring Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, and Amanda Seyfried, Chloe is streaming now on Netflix. The film is directed by Atom Egoyan, and written by Erin Cressida Wilson (Secretary).