Despite the voyeuristic jollies derived from subject matter alone, the film’s most enticing draw is Sasha Grey, an actual porn star, who plays Chelsea. As a “real” actress, I’m not sure whether to be impressed or bored by Grey. Her performance is either incredibly understated or incredibly undemanding. She delivers her lines with the utmost ice and upper-class ennui, like one of those vapid, deadpan girls from The Hills. But there is something more beneath Grey’s perfectly groomed, Marc Jacobs-adorned exoskeleton that signals a ruthless hunger or a guarded self-consciousness. Or maybe that’s just what I’d like to think. Given the apparent similarities between Grey and her onscreen Chelsea -- both of which utilize naivety and sex appeal to their advantage -- I think Soderbergh is on to something even more sensational than a juicy, high-priced-hooker story.
-- MIKE BERLIN
Previously > Drag Me to Camp Horror Heaven