Now in his late 70s, Paul Verhoeven (BASIC INSTINCT, ROBOCOP) has returned to genre films after more than 15 years: ELLE premiered at Cannes to great acclaim, with reviews showering perhaps the highest ever praise on him in his long career. All that for a rape-and-revenge thriller notable for its provocative handling of victim and offender roles. In spite of its subject matter, though, it is also sur-prisingly humorous and never moralizing. Verhoeven has Isabelle Huppert to thank for that as well – in an almost impossible role, she makes her character totally credible. She plays tough businesswoman Michèle who is brutally raped by a masked man in her house right at the beginning of the film. This does not really seem to throw her much off track. Why doesn’t she go to the police? Who is the assail-ant? Is he part of a game, a sexual fantasy? The answers will leave any viewer surprised. The screen-play is based on the award-winning novel OH… by Philippe Djian.
Isabelle Huppert, Anne Consigny, Charles Berling, Virginie Efira, Christian Berkel
Saïd Ben Saïd, Michel Merkt
Job ter Burg
29 rue Danielle Casanova
Selected filmography Paul Verhoeven
TOTAL RECALL (1990), BASIC INSTINCT (1992), SHOW GIRLS (1995), HOLLOW MAN (2000 ), BLACK BOOK (2006), TRICKED (2012)