Steven Soderbergh Blogathon-The Girlfriend Experience
After some excellent posts on Haywire and Side Effects, Niles Schwartz, this time, explores Soderbergh’s look at high end prostitution in The Girlfriend Experience. Soderbergh has this habit of getting actors, who are not really mainstream Hollywood, for roles, so in Haywire, he choose real life mixed martial arts proponent Gina Carano, in the lead role. And for The Girlfriend Experience, he brings in former porn star Sasha Grey for the lead role. Niles explores the Wall Street collapse, how it ties into the protagonist’s own life and business, her relationship with her boyfriend. A movie that was slammed by critics and audiences alike when it was released, of late though becoming a cult favorite, like most Soderbergh movies. In his own words
Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience is not merely a realistic portrait of a high-price escort in Manhattan, or a facile critique of capitalism captured during the height of economic panic from last fall. The first notes of the musical score, along with an indiscernible tracking shot along what seems like a steel wall, designate a sense of utter dread. The landscape that these chic and successful wafer thin characters trudge within is pretty and neat, but with its lack of dimension and undeveloped psychologies (the proper sense of artifice at the neglect of anything symbolic and transformative), it’s also nightmarish. This is a gorgeous landscape painted in colored electricity, vainly sculpted flesh, and automaton personalities.