Sunday, January 8, 2017

Elle - Movie Review

Elle (R) 130 mins B-
Oh! So Twisted.

Starring: Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Charles Berling, Judith Magre, Christian Berkel, Virginie Efira, Authur Mazet, Jonas Bloquet, Alice Isaaz, and Anne Consigny

Elle is a rape-revenge drama directed by Paul Verhoeven (Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Robocop). Verhoeven has been quoted as saying, "No American actress would ever take on such an amoral movie." Hence, his first French-language feature, critically his best work, and a provocative mind f**k. It stars an ageless Isabelle Huppert who delivers a captivating performance that hasn't gone unnoticed. At last count, Huppert has been nominated "Best Actress" for at least a dozen awards- most notably (to general audiences) for this year's Golden Globe.

Michelle (Huppert) is unbreakable. She's the head of a sexually charged/violent video game company, she's sleeping with her best friend's husband, her son is a money sucking underachiever with a pregnant girlfriend in tow, and her mother is shacking up with a young gigolo... none of which comes close to the most dramatic event happening in her life. I went into his film with a vague notion of what it was about, and if you plan to see this film (she'll likely be nominated for an Academy Award) I suggest the same approach. The film, a thriller, kept me guessing- I thought I knew what I was getting into, then I didn't, then I did. The film goes on too long and it felt messy. Nevertheless, Huppert's performance is worthy of viewing and worth the price of admission. Elle is a challenging piece of art, not for everyone. However, it's been lingering in my mind since I left the theatre.

Based on Philippe Djian's novel "Oh..."

Check out the trailer courtesy of YouTube & Sony Pictures Classics

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