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The film is riotously funny, and Isabelle Huppert has never been better.
Elle doesn't always maintain the clever balance of naughtiness and dramatic confrontations that make it such an appealingly unconventional romp.
The Film Stage by
Giovanni Marchini Camia
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.
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.
The Playlist by
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.
There is much to like about Elle, first and foremost a witty and bold performance from Huppert and the generally seasoned ensemble.
The Hollywood Reporter by
It’s all quite perverse for sure, which of course is no surprise coming from either the actress or the director, though what’s welcome about Elle is the way they combine their talents to make a film that hardly skimps on the sex, violence and sadism, yet ultimately tells a story about how one woman uses them all to set herself free.
Screen International by
This audacious, irony-laced, convention-jumbling tale is just plain fun to watch.
The Telegraph by
Elle forces you to critically confront every myth it indulges, every cliché it embraces and subverts.
The Guardian by
The film is utterly gripping and endlessly disturbing.
A quest for self-improvement
Some people change your life forever.
It would have been a lovely family dinner. If it weren't the last.
All love is created equal
If you ever left me, I'd tear my heart out and never put it back
I want them to see what they have done to Jack.