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Elle (2016)

Elle (2016)

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

7.1

Movie

Belgium, France
French
Crime, Drama, Thriller
2016
PAUL VERHOEVEN
Alice Isaaz, Anne Consigny, Anne Loiret
130 min

What it's about

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.

The take

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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