Elle.  Rating:  4 (out of 5).  Michelle, a head of a successful video game company, seems indestructible. But being attacked by an unknown assailant in her very own home changes her forever, and she determinedly tracks the man down and they are both drawn into a curious game that may spiral out of control anytime. The film will premiere on VOD on Tuesday, March 14.  According to the Los Angeles Times, “Elle is a gripping whodunit, a tour de force of psychological suspense and a wickedly droll comedy of manners.”

Starring: Anne Consigny, Charles Berling, Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Comedy



Entertainment Weekly says, “We get to watch another unforgettable and incomparable Huppert performance.”

Variety finds, “Knowingly incendiary but remarkably cool-headed, and built around yet another of Isabelle Huppert’s staggering psychological dissections, Paul Verhoeven’s long-awaited return to notional genre filmmaking pulls off a breathtaking bait-and-switch: Audiences arriving for a lurid slab of arthouse exploitation will be taken off-guard by the complex, compassionate, often corrosively funny examination of unconventional desires that awaits them.”

According to Los Angeles Times, “Elle is a gripping whodunit, a tour de force of psychological suspense and a wickedly droll comedy of manners.”

Philadelphia Inquirer gives the film 3.5 out of 4 stars, and further writes, “Elle is unique, brilliant, and disturbing in equal parts because in Michèle gives us a heroine who refuses to follow either one of the two options that films and novels usually reserve for women in her position.”

The New Yorker thinks, “That stance of hers will outrage many viewers, as Verhoeven intends it to, but the question of whether Elle is pernicious nonsense or an excruciating black comedy is brushed aside in Huppert’s demonstration of sangfroid. This, she shows us, is how to stand up for yourself in style. She’s the best.”

Boston Globe finds, “Elle may be the purest distillation of his worldview yet, and it’s a terrifying thrill.”

The Seattle Times says, “There are several ways you can watch Elle, only one of which is mildly enjoyable.”

New York Observer gives the film 3 out of 4 stars, and further notes, “It’s too twisted and implausible to be everybody’s cup of tea, but it keeps you glued to the screen from beginning to end. Boredom and bathroom breaks are not an option.”

San Francisco Chronicle finds, “In “Elle,” we find a supercharged Huppert, taking everything she has meant on screen for the past 40 years and investing it in this one, rich, bizarre performance. Or to put it another way, this is one of the screen’s greatest actresses, and in “Elle” we find her in a career-defining role.”

The New York Times observes, “It’s a psychological thriller, a strangely dry-eyed melodrama, a kinky sex farce and, perhaps most provocatively, a savage comedy of bourgeois manners. Mostly, though — inarguably, I would say — it is a platform for the astonishing, almost terrifying talent of Isabelle Huppert.”

Washington Post thinks, “Elle would be too clever by half — not to mention fatally offensive — were it not for Huppert, who in her portrayal of Michèle owns the movie from its opening moments to its bizarre, but not entirely surprising, denouement.”

The Hollywood Reporter calls the movie “A beautiful dark twisted French fantasy.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch gives the film 4 out of 4 stars, and calls the film “One of the best films of the year.”

According to Austin Chronicle, “Michèle is a daring, complicated character – one that Isabelle Huppert brilliantly creates in concert with the director, Paul Verhoeven.”

The Globe and Mail finds, “For all its cleverness, Elle suffers, like many a thriller, from an unmasking that proves less intriguing than the original mystery and, in its misogyny and its misanthropy, the film ultimately proves less interesting than it believes itself to be. Mainly, it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth long after the credits roll. Like Michèle herself, Elle is a nasty piece of work.”

The Guardian gives the movie 5 out of 5 stars, and further writes, “Isabelle Huppert delivers a standout performance as a woman turning the tables on her attacker in the controversial director’s electrifying and provocative comeback.”

The Telegraph observes, “Elle forces you to critically confront every myth it indulges, every cliché it embraces and subverts.”

ScreenCrush gives the movie 9 out of 10 rating, and further notes, “Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Elle is that it took this long for Huppert and Verhoeven to collaborate.”

Indiewire thinks, “Elle doesn’t always maintain the clever balance of naughtiness and dramatic confrontations that make it such an appealingly unconventional romp.”

Time finds, “Even by the out-there standards of “Basic Instinct” and “Showgirls,” Paul Verhoeven’s latest, Elle, is a thing to behold. Part thriller, part obsidian-black comedy, part cerebral firebomb, it’s confrontational, terrible and glorious. You almost can’t believe such a picture exists.”

Movie Nation says, “Huppert, after a career that has included “Entre Nous,” “8 Women,” and the equally unnerving “The Piano Teacher,” makes this unfiltered fury the capstone of a stunning career in which she journeyed from French sex symbol to grande dame of European cinema without losing even a hint of her allure.”

ReelViews observes, “Taken as a whole, this is compulsive viewing and offers plenty of material for post-viewing discussions.”

The Playlist thinks, “The list of the film’s transgressions against the culturally acceptable is almost gratuitously long. But the spine of self-aware intelligence that runs through even its most grotesque, exploitative, and offensive twists, and the basically incredible, irreplaceable central performance from Isabelle Huppert, make this queasily hilarious mass of contradictions just about cohere.”

RogerEbert.com gives the film 4 out of 4 stars, and further writes, “Watching “Elle” feels like climbing Everest without an oxygen tank. The air is dizzyingly clear up there. And dangerous, too.”

Salon.com says, “Elle, like all of Verhoeven’s films, refuses easy categorization. It combines elements of a rape revenge thriller, an extremely dark class comedy and Cronenbergian body horror to create something totally unique — a singular experience that transcends genre.”

A.V. Club gives the movie an A rating, and further writes, “Huppert’s performance is marvelous and intuitive, one of the best of her career.”

Screen International finds, “This audacious, irony-laced, convention-jumbling tale is just plain fun to watch.”

CineVue gives the film 2 out of 5 stars, and further notes, “There is much to like about Elle, first and foremost a witty and bold performance from Huppert and the generally seasoned ensemble.”

Time Out London writes, “The fictional character Huppert creates is simply so lived-in and plausible that to insist Michele react differently to her own lived experience would be as obstinate as insisting that a person in real life cannot possibly feel the way that they say they feel. Whatever your take, it’s a film that will inspire debate for decades to come.”

Slant Magazine says, “This is a film that isn’t afraid to inhabit the maddening ambivalence of pleasure, recognizing that desire simply doesn’t recognize good manners.”

Rolling Stone thinks, “Huppert, an fearless actress (see The Piano Teacher), gives a performance that’s a riveting mix of carnal and chilly – you can’t take your eyes off her.”

Slate finds, “For people who enjoy coming out of movies unsettled, a little riled up, bursting with questions, and spoiling for a debate, see Elle.”

According to The Film Stage, “Elle would be unimaginable without Huppert, who delivers a performance of such virtuosity that she turns what is essentially a raving sociopath into one of the most alluring protagonists in recent memory.”

We Got This Covered says, “It’s hard not to anticipate many of Verhoeven’s moves, but Isabella Huppert is too good to ignore in Elle.”

TheWrap finds, “The film is riotously funny, and Isabelle Huppert has never been better.”

Total Film gives the film 5 out of 5 stars, and further notes, “A complex film that sidesteps every cliché. Paul Verhoeven and Isabelle Huppert are at the top of their game.”

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