“Elle” Review

elle-2016-poster-2

Elle (2016)

**SPOILER ALERT**

A Dutch director known for “Basic Instinct” (1992) and “Total Recall” (1990), Paul Verhoeven, has produced his first French-language film to date – “Elle”, based on a novel by Philippe Dijan (also known as the writer of “Betty Blue” (1986)). “Elle” has already competed for a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival 2016, and deals with a very sensitive topic of a rape perpetuated on a successful businesswoman Michele Leblanc, whose complex relationship with her family and the deeply-seated psychological trauma experienced during childhood, lead her to have an unconventional response to the attack. This film is as disturbing as it is engrossing, and, overall, proves to be a very satisfying experience, thanks to an outstanding performance by Isabelle Huppert (“The Piano Teacher” (2001)), and due to a masterful (though also confusing) mix of a psychological thriller, a Hitchcockian detective story and French black humour.        

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‘Far from Men’ Trailer

 

‘La Belle et La Bête’ Trailer

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This may not be Jean Cocteau classic, but something must explain its current opening success in Italy. There are things here I like: Vincent Cassel as Beast/Prince, a powerful soundtrack and great visuals. I hear the story does not live up to all the visuals, but it’s a rule, rather than an exception today. Apparently, there is another ‘Beauty and the Beast’ movie to be announced with Emma Watson in it, but we will also see other Disney-themed movies soon. Joe Wright is directing ‘Pan’ (2015), ‘the origin’ story of Peter Pan staring Hugh Jackman. ‘Maleficent’ (2014) with Angelina Jolie is also coming soon, and we anticipate (for years now) “a darker version” of the fairytale ‘Pinocchio’ (2016) – an animated film directed by Guillermo del Toro.

My 10 Favourite French-Language Films

Modern era and in no particular order

1. La Haine (Hate) (1995)

 Haine

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