Wednesday, December 14, 2016

“Elle” The New “Basic Instinct” with a “French Twist”

By José Alberto Hermosillo
“Elle” is a sophisticated, twisted-erotic-psychological thriller. It will stick with you right under the skin with a high voltage of anxiety, desire, and animosity. 

Director Paul Verhoeven returns to his European roots of sexual deviations, perversions, and obsessions, pushing the boundary-line beyond the imaginable.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ©2016 SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
The role of “Elle” is custom made for Isabelle Huppert (“Things to Come,” “Amour,” “The Piano Teacher”) who perfectly portrays Michele LeBlanc, an upper-class, high-ranking French executive, and producer of violent video games charged with bloody erotic sequences that alter the subconscious. 

PHOTO COURTESY OF ©2016 SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
The responsibilities of Mrs. LeBlanc have changed her into an uptight, snooty, hard-hitting woman.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ©2016 SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
After a freak home invasion and rape, her mind is obsessed with the assault and can't stop thinking about it. 

The event repeats itself, over and over, inside her head and in constant incursions.

“What if…” she could defend herself and counter-attack the burglar.

“What if…” she would be in control and get pleasure out of it.

"What if..." she could take revenge against her attacker...

The thoughts of being a woman in power, (not only in her job, but in her sexuality), create a high level of instability, anxiety, and cravings in her mind and body.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ©2016 CINE MATE
Mrs. LeBlanc would like to know who attacked her. She suspects everyone, but she has no evidence of whom he could be. 

She has many haters, starting with her ex-husband and her closest collaborators.

Some of her detractors are her daughter in law, her confused and immature son, and her mad and sophisticated mother who has a relationship with a much younger stud.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ©2016 SONY PICTURES CLASSICS
The mother wants her daughter to heal herself and become more “normal” by visiting and to forgive her incarcerated father, a “monster” serving a lifetime sentence for committing a horrendous crime which Michele witnessed when she was a teenager.   
ISABELLE HUPPERT. PHOTO JOSE A HERMOSILLO ©2017 FESTIVAL IN LA
“Oh…” is the original name of the novel by the French-Armenian writer Philippe Djian, outstandingly adapted to the screen by David Birke.
PAUL VERHOEVEN, PHOTO JOSE A HERMOSILLO ©2017 FESTIVAL IN LA
Director Paul Verhoeven really knows his craft placing every element in the right space and at the right time. He became famous in Hollywood with Cult Classics such as “RoboCop” “Basic Instinct,” “Total Recall,” and “Show Girls.” 
PAUL VERHOEVEN, PHOTO JOSE A HERMOSILLO ©2017 FESTIVAL IN LA
In the Netherlands, his homeland, he made his most controversial works “Turkish Delight,” “Diary of a Hooker,” “Katie Tippel,” “Soldier of Orange” and“The 4th Man.” 

Verhoeven continues making films with the same quality and freedom in Europe and in Hollywood as well.

Many directors have successfully explored this genre with sex, violence, and fetishism. Like: Vicente Aranda’s “Amantes/Lovers: A True Story,” Bigas Luna’s “The Chambermaid on the Titanic,” Luis Buñuel’s “Susana” and “Belle de Jour,” and François Ozon’s “Criminal Lovers” and “Young & Beautiful.”

“Elle” is the winner of the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama, Isabelle Hupper. And it is the official French submission for the Academy Awards 2017, in the Foreign Language Film category.

Verhoeven’s experience in Hollywood makes “Elle” unfold with perfect cinematography, fast-paced editing and elongated moments that enhance the actors’ performances to a whole new level of importance.

In "Elle" every actor is impeccable. Isabelle Huppert is Magnifique!
PHOTO COURTESY OF ©2016 AFI FEST
Michele’s anger and obsessions make her unconscious of her own reality. 

At one point, she must figure out how to get out of this sickening situation in one piece and regain control of herself, but her environment drags her down into deeper waters.

As the sexual assaults become more frequent, the structure of "Elle" could be interpreted as “Jesus descending into Hell.”

The technical achievement of “Elle” makes it seem like a non-traditional French movie, but because of its sexual content, we can say “Elle” is very French. If you dare to see this film, you will know what I mean.


Follow us on Twitter 

Follow us on Facebook
Related Articles:

“Polina” From the Classic Russian Ballet to the World of Contemporary Dance

25 Great Foreign Films that Did Not Get Distribution in US Theaters 

“Cezanne and I” An Extraordinary Journey of Art and Friendship

“Colossal” Not Your Typical “Godzilla” Movie

10 The Best Latino Performances of 2016 And Their Absence From The Nominations

Sonia Braga Receives a Lifetime Achievement Award in Hollywood

15 Must-See French Films at COLCOA 2016

“Neruda” Runaway Poet 

Copyright © 2016 Festival in LA 

No comments:

Post a Comment