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Elle (2016)Elle (2016)

Elle (2016)

An always-excellent Isabelle Huppert powers this thrilling French revenge film

Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.1

movie

Belgium, France

French

Challenging, Character-driven, Depressing

2016

Paul Verhoeven

Alice Isaaz, Anne Consigny, Anne Loiret

130 min

Synopsis

When Michèle, the CEO of a gaming software company, is attacked in her home by an unknown assailant, she refuses to let it alter her precisely ordered life. She manages crises involving family, all the while becoming engaged in a game of cat and mouse with her stalker.

Our Take

7.1
Lee Adams

Arch-provocateur Paul Verhoeven received widespread acclaim for his assured and darkly funny adaptation of Philippe Dijan’s award-winning novel, his first film in the French language. 

It’s a controversial revenge thriller about a domineering businesswoman who is raped in her home by a masked man. Refusing to let the attack affect her life, she refuses to report the incident and tracks down the assailant herself.

Verhoeven directs the material with confidence and a troubling lightness of touch, while fearless Isabelle Huppert gives one of the best performances of her long and illustrious career. Some people found Elle empowering while others felt it perpetuated misogynistic attitudes. Either way, it makes for a passionate post-viewing discussion.

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