Yuletide in Paris is anything but merry for video game CEO Michèle (Isabelle Huppert) in Paul Verhoeven’s (Black Book) astute, indelible psychological thriller, and portrait of a woman living in the shadow of childhood trauma. The victim of a brutal sexual assault (depicted in Elle’s opening scenes), Michèle goes on with her life as if nothing has happened, not even reporting the crime to the police. But as we mine her traumatic past, it becomes apparent why she has become an expert at compartmentalizing and bottling up emotions. When at last she discovers her attacker’s identity, she makes moves to reclaim her life. Elle is Verhoeven at the top of his game, delivering a film that is, in turns, violent, suspenseful, and darkly humorous. Showcasing Huppert’s tremendous talent, Verhoeven delivers his unique brand of acerbic wit and 21st-century social commentary for the technological age.
With support from The Consulate General of France and FACS