Michèle (Isabelle Huppert) seems indestructible. Head of a leading video game company, she brings the same ruthless attitude to her love life as to business. Being attacked in her home by an unknown assailant changes Michèle's life forever. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game—a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control.
Paul Verhoeven directs Isabelle Huppert in his first French-language feature, which premiered in competition in Cannes.
To say that Elle is Paul Verhoeven’s classiest work to date is perhaps an overstatement, especially for a movie about a rape victim who gets her rocks off every time she comes face-to-face with her assailant. But we are after all dealing with the director behind such subversive classics as Basic Instinct and Showgirls — both of them powerful women’s movies, despite what the naysayers may claim — so the bar in terms of sophistication and chic is not necessarily all that high.
Critics have been wowed by Ms. Huppert. In The Los Angeles Times, Justin Chang called her turn “one of the greatest performances of her very great career.” Others have noted that Elle includes sly references to her formidable filmography, including Michael Haneke’s The Piano Teacher (2002); Christophe Honoré’s My Mother (2004), a story of incest; and Claude Chabrol’s Madame Bovary (1991).
ELLE is France's official Academy Award submission for Best Foreign Language Film.
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte from the Comédie-Française, Anne Consigny, Charles Berling, Virginie Efira and Judith Magre
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classic
> Opens November 11 in New York
> Opens November 16 in Los Angeles at the Claremont 5, NoHo 7, Playhouse 7 and Town Center 5 and Christmas Day at the Monica Film Center.