Steven Soderbergh has dabbled in so many genres with such varying styles that it’s hard to say, “Yeah, [insert name of a newer director’s film] was very Soderberghian, you know, it had that, you know, quality, to it.” For 2009’s The Girlfriend Experience, the director cast adult film star Sasha Grey as a very expensive Manhattan call girl in a committed, live-in relationship, and the film’s detached, documentary-style approach carries the one thing you can concretely say is a common thread in Soderbergh’s films: the camera work is pretty close to impeccable. Grey’s performance, while definitely a step above any sort of naughty-liason-with-the-totally-ripped-cabana-boy level of thespian arts, comes across at times with a such a flat demeanor that you’re not sure if her character, who makes an enormous amount of money spending time with millionaires, is supposed to actually be really vapid. And if that’s the case, then she pretty much nailed it, as did the rest of the cast, who all ooze a sufficient amount of dysfunction into their portrayals of Rich New York. It’s an interesting offering for anyone familiar with Soderbergh’s previous work, especially since it is sandwiched in the director’s filmography between his stern biopic of Che Guevara and the comically Matt Damon-fronted The Informant!.
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