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New York auditor Jonathan McQuarry (Ewan McGregor) is the archetypal nebbish. He wears glasses, his hair is parted 1920s-fashion, he likes accountancy because “the order of it appeals to me — the symmetry”. Needless to say, his success with the ladies is minimal. Along comes successful lawyer Wyatt Bose (Hugh Jackman) who introduces McQuarry to the unique pleasures of a high-class sex club, a world of “intimacy without intricacy”. McQuarry believes he has finally made it, until a torrid liaison with mysterious “Jennifer” (Michelle Williams) ensnares him in a nightmare of treachery, crime and murder.
First-time feature director Marcel Langenegger is quoted as saying Mark Bomback’s ingenious screenplay “reminded me of Hitchcock”. Hitchcockian elements are certainly there — an innocent hero propelled into a dangerous milieu, duplicitous characters and a narrative line that suspends disbelief. Jackman is suavity itself when he needs to be, Williams makes her character interesting and McGregor is a suitable victim/hero (despite an uneven American accent). As smooth, cunning and compelling thrillers go, this one goes over very nicely.