The Girlfriend Experience

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A few days in the life of a call girl who seems to be paid for companionship as well as sex.


One of the experimental pictures Steven Soderbergh makes between bigger projects, this is an account of a few days in the life of a call girl (Sasha Grey). Wealthy clients pay her to listen to them talk about the economy and their families as much as for sex (kept off screen, despite Grey’s porn star pedigree). It’s deliberately chilly, and feels like a series of overheard conversations rather than a story, obliging you to listen for barbs among the trivialities.

Grey’s good at revealing the tiny hurts patrons feel entitled to inflict on her, and a jolt of sleaze comes from Glenn Kenny as a web call girl critic who writes a hilariously cruel review after bagging a ‘free sample’.

Good central performances but short on plot.