This week sees the launch of ELLE in UK cinemas – a thrillingly fucked up story that explores abnormal plausibility in the depths of the human psyche.
If you don’t get the dry humour, then you may worry about a new moral benchmark being set in this French thriller by Franco-Tunisian producer, Saïd Ben Saïd (Maps to the Stars, Carnage), and Dutch film director, Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct, Total Recall); adapted from a Philippe Djian novel by American screenwriter, David Birke (13 Sins, Kiss and Tell).
Already holding herself together after years of discrimination – resulting from the murderous actions of her father when she was a child – Michèle LeBlanc, founder and CEO of a successful video games company, played by lead actress, Isabelle Huppert (Amour, I Heart Huckabees), deals with random attacks from strangers in public, and obnoxious sexism at work, before seemingly accepting the brutal rape by a masked predator in her own home with the same nonchalant ‘keep calm and you can shut the fuck up’ attitude.
With her distrust for the police, and repeated attacks, she seeks to nail the rapist herself, while also becoming entangled in the seedy misdemeanours of middle aged friends and neighbours, and dealing with the off-kilter antics of her amorous mother and wayward son.
ELLE is a stunning depiction of one woman’s openly detached response to an onslaught of drama that is dealt with as an inconvenience rather than a startling exception.
In cinemas March 10th. Go check it out.
Words: Sarah Hardy