Sasha Grey carries the movie even though I'm not sure if she is just naturally inexpressive and incredibly stoic or if that is what comes across due to her not being a good actress? Anyway - intentionally or not - that worked well. The interaction with the several men is interesting and kept me on board. The sub-plot with the boyfriend/gym/Las Vegas business was unnecessary and boring. Could've done without it.
May be THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE is too meta for its own good, but it's more than mere novelty. Example: Soderbergh casts real-life film critic Glenn Kenny in the role of an escort critic. He does the same with New York staff writer Mark Jacobson who plays a journalist gunning for a profile on high-end escort Chelsea (Sasha Grey, ex porn star). And yet Soderbergh's style never overpowers his intent or sardonic humor
Soderbergh's cold & stylish touch is quite evident in The Girlfriend Experience; the same treatment given to films like Contagion & Side Effects. The interesting thing about TGE is how the camera & score give us distance from the forced & faked intimacy while Sasha Grey's character is going through very personal & (somewhat) relatable dilemmas. Not for everyone in terms of gradual progression but intriguing for me.
First off, kudos to Ms. Grey! Her performance was remarkably sympathetic; Chelsea is not a "hooker," but an enterprising young woman seeking balance, respect and validation. -- Nonlinear style was employed w/ great effect; thanks to that most dreadful year (2008) looming large, lending the narrative a center of gravity, all the separate episodes seemed to happen simultaneously without ever feeling like a knotted mess
Impressed by Sasha Grey, the amateur acting I found was really productive. Actually really really liked the ending. Found that the boyfriend storyline and his gym/Vegas interactions detracted from the film. Also didn't like the non-linear narrative, just made it look sloppy. Otherwise an interesting project.
Plays like a first feature. It even has the out-of-focus shots you'd expect from an amateur filmmaker. You're left wondering if Soderbergh designed his shots to be out of focus or if he was content leaving his mistakes for others to see. For the most part it's interesting to see how Soderbergh can get a performance out of anybody. But he forgot to include an ending.
The film puts NY financiers level with high class prostitutes. The second of 6 low-budget HD films Soderbergh made was shot on a Red camera with mostly non -professional actors and an improv acting style. Extreme porn star Grey is excellent, easy and relaxed acting & in her VO narration. Soderbergh's style is nervy and just right for a creepy satire these fatuous hypocritical money men. Chillingly patient and real.
now that's Soderberg has claimed to retire from filmmaking altogether I am very excited to see the television version of The Girlfriend Experience which i think is going to be on Netflix or one of those pay per month services. anyone who has seen is Sasha Grey in her definitely new take on feminist pornography will be somewhat pleasantly surprised asked her acting ability in this film.