3.0 for the film and TV series. I actually quite liked the film, and was excited to see how the TVS was. I watched it all in a few days, and it is actually one of the few series which actually feels more filmic, and it has a very cold and detached atmosphere. The character is totally unlikable, and it is sad to know people are willing to pay for this kind of connection. Authentic to the mind and tone of an escort
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.