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Elle Review

4 Nov

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During a year curiously lacking in the “standout performance” department, here enters Isabelle Huppert. This is a fierce, complex portrayal of a character who rarely falls in line with our preconceived notions, and Huppert nails every single aspect of that complexity. As Michele Leblanc, she continually walks a tightrope of desire, control, and sexuality, and she and Verhoeven find moments of wild humor and biting satire in the midst of extremely dark scenarios. It’s a fun one to watch, and the fact that I label it “fun” when it involves the topics it does should tell you all you need to know about where Verhoeven’s mind is at.

Not everything works, as some of the subplots that are tacked on never really get you to care. However, when the film focuses on Michele’s engrossing central story and Huppert’s captivating central performance, everything clicks into place. This might be praised for being a subversive, progressive film about sexuality and desire, or it might be criticized for trivializing serious issues. Either way, though, one thing this film is not is your typical rape revenge fantasy, and it deserves some credit for that.

GRADE: B+

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8 Responses to “Elle Review”

  1. peggyatthemovies November 7, 2016 at 1:01 am #

    I see this next week w/a Q & A with Huppert after. I probably won’t have time to review it, so went ahead and read yours! 😀 I’m looking forward to much more now. Thanks for the good spoiler-free review! 😀

    • polarbears16 November 7, 2016 at 3:06 pm #

      No problem! hope you enjoy it.

      Will you be seeing it at AFI?

      • peggyatthemovies November 7, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

        no I didn’t apply or get tickets in time for AFI..This is at my fav. theatre..and you know it too.. The Landmark!! 😀

      • polarbears16 November 7, 2016 at 3:54 pm #

        ooh nice!

  2. peggyatthemovies November 16, 2016 at 1:30 am #

    Just saw this tonight with Isabelle Hubbert doing the post.. I fully enjoyed this movie..though the very end got a bit weird.. her performance was nothing short of brilliant and by far the best actress performance I’ve seen all year hands down.. wow..

    • polarbears16 November 16, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

      Completely agree. Everyone will be talking about Natalie Portman, but I prefer Huppert’s.

      • peggyatthemovies November 18, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

        I see Jackie at 12N today at Fox.. so I can compare.. but as long as she’s given recognition for this at least.. I mean..wow!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Top 30 Films of 2016 | Polar Bears Watch TV - February 25, 2017

    […] 21. Elle  […]

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