- What is this movie about?
Michèle is the owner of a company that develops videogames. One day she is attacked and raped at her home but instead of going to the police she tries to find out who has dared to do that to her…
- Why must you watch this movie?
We are presented with one of the best movies of the year 2016 (if not THE best). Although the movie might seem long (about 2,5 hours of your time), you will enjoy it for sure; that is, if you can stand the topic that it presents and then developed, which is mainly violence in different life aspects, starting with the rape of the main character, a not so young woman.
The director has us well used to this kind of films where violence is the main dish; you just have to remember other movies from his filmography such as “Robocop”, “Basic Instinct”, “Total Recall” and the maybe not so know in America movie, but one of his finest jobs (with the permission of the present film), “The Black Book”. What “Elle” describes and shows on its opening sequence is something that will impact you for a while, if not shock you; the way it is projected, nothing harsh, but still real enough will not leave you unaffected. From there on the story flows at a pace where you are trying to discover together with the main character who is behind the attack against her. But not everything is as it looks like. We learn about her life, her past, her present and her future; and when you are starting to pity her, like really pity her, there is something that she does or happens that makes you change your mind really fast.
Of course this movie couldn’t be done nor could it have such a great impact if it wasn’t for the amazing performance given byIsabelle Huppert. She is flawless on screen and just perfect in this role. A role that was rejected by many American actresses because of what implied doing and what they had to actually do in front of the camera, because let’s not forget: this is a French movie, with French cast, French crew and a Dutch director, and there is absolutely no way that this could have been made in the USA with such a magnificent result. This movie is the French selected movie to represent their country at the Oscars, and I strongly hope that it will be picked up by the Academy as one of the five finalists for best foreign movie. Moreover, I sincerely hope that Isabelle Huppert will get many nominations and awards for her impeccable work, as she is still one of the best actresses in the world and she deserves to be reminded of it.
A movie that is a must watch for everyone who wants to see something different, something more real or something just different. Although what happens is something that we don’t like to watch or be aware of, this story is worth of your time as this is not the typical told story, where the victim feels sorry for herself or decides to go with a vengeance against her attacker. This is something different; less fake, less artificial and more real; showed in a European way, although at some points It could feel a bit surreal altogether. Watch it for a change, and it you have the opportunity to watch it in French, much better!
- Did you know?
– Based on the novel “Oh…” by Philippe Djian.
– Paul Verhoeven’s second feature film in the ‘Official Competition’ at the Cannes International Film Festival. The first one was “Basic Instinct” (1992). Both films are thrillers.
– Official submission of France for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ category of the 89th Academy Awards in 2017.
– The initial plan was to produce the movie in the United States, but there were problems finding a female lead. Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Diane Lane, Carice van Houten and Sharon Stone were considered, but they all passed on the opportunity. According to Paul Verhoeven, most actresses immediately rejected the part as soon as they had read the script, instead of waiting for a few days, which is normal. When Verhoeven was invited to make the movie in France, he took the opportunity to cast Isabelle Huppert, who he had known for some time, and with whom he had always wanted to work.