All of the characters ignore their respective situations and try to live a regular life. ©2020 British Film Institute. She forgives Kevin the office animation issue.

→ Access the digital edition The film is a bit of a punch-in-the-face every now and then and you constantly are thinking “What?” “Really?” .. but in an “I’m still interested and would like to continue” sort of way. Anna finds it in her to somehow forgive Michèle for what she’s done. Verhoeven does not eroticize it. She checks to see if he was the attacker, and he was not. She also mentions that it is over now. At work, a code of professional alienation rules: the gruesomely graphic rape in a videogame is not to be confused with the real thing. But later in the film, when Michèle does consent to sex, enthusiastically, watch how her lover is unnerved by a woman who wants it, who doesn't have to be talked into it. I believe this was just a turn of events and not something Michèle plans. Instead, she orders food. The air is dizzyingly clear up there. She still decides she is not going to go to the cops. Elle is a French film which sees Isabelle Huppert in the lead role. But she also makes Kevin strip to check if he’s circumcised.

Michèle – she is an independent, successful woman who runs a Video Game company. By Nick James. Now, it’s not like she plots all of it to come to a great culmination. Neither can Verhoeven. He goes about life as if everything is dandy. For a time, at least”. Her reactions after the event are also nonchalant: she does not contact the police and, when finally telling friends over dinner, shrugs it off. You can't imagine any of those women, or Isabelle Huppert, who plays Michèle, going to a support group or therapy. He leaves. She’s done with the physical encounters with Robert. Michèle’s estranged relationship with her mother is soon disclosed along with her mother’s interest in younger men. But the reality is far from that. Did she set up the situation on purpose so that Vincent could save her? But then she starts getting creepy texts from the unknown rapist: he knows where she is, what she's wearing. Jostling for power comes in many different forms, playing out in romantic relationship, office dynamics, even in a conversation with a group of friends where you have something to say and everyone is too busy talking to give you "the floor." We don’t know. Enough of this ramble, let’s get to the plot. All she tells the cops is that she was getting closer to Patrick but could have never imagined that he was the attacker behind the ski mask. Michèle muses that perhaps, at his birth, they missed out on that profound bonding or ‘imprinting’ known from the animal kingdom. Michèle protects herself and undertakes her own investigation, but definitely does not seek revenge against her attacker – even once she knows who it is. This woman has too much to DO to fall apart after the rape.

But for some reason he does. Elle is the French movie adaptation of the novel “Oh..”.

This statement indicates that she knew about the sick relationship they shared. They'll gut it out on their own. Isabelle Huppert gives one of the most riveting performances of her career in Paul Verhoeven’s incendiary Elle, refusing to play the victim in a challenging, twisty thriller that seeks to subvert the expectations of the traditional revenge drama. She gets closure from that. She meant what she was saying. It’s about a whole bunch of characters that are trying really hard to live their lives normally given the variety of crap each one is going through. And this time her son Vincent arrives and strikes the attacker. She is merely human and chooses selfishly for herself and the people she opted to care for. This leads to a delightful payoff that depends on every secret piece of information we, as viewers, have come to accumulate about her. She's completely beyond those concerns. Michèle initially doesn’t know that he is the attacker. He’s regularly available for a chat conversation on his website and consults on storyboarding from time to time. Him trying to live a normal life and constantly look for some venue to become successful is shown. The lady still hates Michèle and her father for the murders. This is why she does not report her serial rape. It's hard to picture this woman shedding a tear. We are soon shown that the baby is not Vincent’s. Michèle doesn’t inform the cops about her assault and is focused on getting her new video game out. It was merely the story and the actions taken by one woman based on the situations she found herself to be in. Michèle also finds it in her to be ready to go to the cops and tell them what has been happening. Like everything else in Elle, cats return as a beguiling motif. This is what makes Elle so special and captivating. Richard’s failure as a writer and being broke is introduced here. Rape fantasies are so common as to be mundane. Rebecca tells Michèle this – “Patrick was a good man but he had a tortured soul”. Dad – Michèle’s past involves her psychopath dad. It's a rape-revenge-ensemble-comedy-thriller-stalker mashup, if you can even picture that. Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here. Richard is seeing a young girl (Hélène) but there’s nothing there. Sometimes people are drawn to danger, to risk. But she wasn’t. Patrick – This is the neighbour dude. Just as they are about to get physical Patrick leaves. Michèle sleeps one last time with Robert and calls off any future affairs with him.

Adrian Martin , Cristina Álvarez López Updated: 12 April 2018. Rebecca’s on a trip. The film is crowded with characters. She kicks out Ralf from her mother’s place. She too decided to stay quiet about it and didn’t go to the cops. People (like the lady in the cafe) are being reminded about the whole mass-murder incident because of the parole hearing. She’s a lady who pays to be with younger men and satisfies her physical cravings. If someone has an idea about this please comment below. And that, ultimately, is the most cutting observation in "Elle," and Verhoeven's aim is accurate and deadly. She is. It could be anyone. There was nothing that Michèle tells Vincent that makes him leave the party early. Kevin – Is another employee in Michèle’s company who seems to be infatuated with Michèle. Michèle has a lot going on: a slacker son (Jonas Bloquet) who has an abusive pregnant girlfriend, an ex-husband (Charles Berling) now dating a young yoga teacher, a bored sex fling with a married man, an elderly Botox-ed mother (Judith Magre) carrying on an affair with a gigolo, a pressing project at work (she co-owns a video game company), a handsome married neighbor (Laurent Lafitte) whom she stares at longingly from across the street, and a complex backstory not revealed until far into the film. She is done with the cops and media as the whole incident with her father seems to have consumed her younger life. Paul Verhoeven’s early Dutch-language films introduced the motifs that would come to define his cinematic universe, from humiliated men and ironic violence to strong, objectified women. As in life, whether we want to admit it or not, those lines are often blurred. And that Michèle is safe. He dies because he is unable to face his daughter. Michèle’s psycho father has a parole hearing coming up. He’s been in jail since. He’s happy. She tells Robert, Anna, and Richard about the incident though. Here one critic defends the film as a razor-sharp portrait of the patriarchal society we live in, while another condemns it as an unsavoury misogynist fantasy. Sheila O'Malley received a BFA in Theatre from the University of Rhode Island and a Master's in Acting from the Actors Studio MFA Program. In "Elle" she gets to be funny, and it's such a joy to watch! It is precisely an assumed ‘imprint’ of this kind – of Georges’s ‘monstrosity’ on to her – that Michèle, through every effort, flees.

This continues to remain in people’s minds. Yet again, she doesn’t call 911. These issues have been with us from the beginning of time, and won't be solved overnight. But "Elle" is one of the smartest films about consent I've ever seen. One of his ideas is rejected by Michèle’s clients and he continues to struggle. Vincent too has ignored the obvious and is extremely thrilled about being a father.

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