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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Elle (2016)

After a brutal rape, a woman (Isabelle Huppert) chooses not to report it to the police because of a traumatic experience in her childhood. But the rapist isn't through with her yet and as it turns out ..... she isn't through with the rapist. This is a rich and complex film, easily Paul Verhoeven's best film since THE 4TH MAN and certainly superior to his American output in the ensuing years. But this isn't a rape victim movie like THE ACCUSED or a rape revenge film like MS. 45. Indeed, Huppert's character is a bit of a mean spirited bitch. Her response to the rape is so unconventional I suspect American audiences will be turned off. Clearly, the burden she has had to carry since she was a child colors a lot of her adult behavior but the inability to pigeonhole her may prove difficult for audiences used to black and white characterizations. There's a big "why?" hovering over the film that's never really answered which is fine by me but mainstream audiences seem to want their endings tied up in neat little ribbons. Huppert is magnificent, yet another potent performance by one of the premier actresses of her generation. Disturbing but highly recommended. With Christian Berkel, Anne Consigny, Laurent Lafitte and Jonas Bioquet.

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