Rent Elle (2016)

3.3 of 5 from 480 ratings
2h 6min
Rent Elle (aka Oh!) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
From legendary filmmaker Paul Verhoeven, 'Elle' is a gripping psychological noir thriller. Starring iconic actress Isabelle Huppert in a career-defining role, 'Elle' follows Michele LeBlanc (Huppert), founder and CEO of a successful video game company, who is attacked in her own home. Upending our expectations, Michele begins to track down her assailant, and soon they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game, one that at any moment may spiral out of control.
Actors:
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Directors:
Producers:
Saïd Ben Saïd, Michel Merkt
Voiced By:
Oury Milshtein, Dominique Plaideau, Lahouassa Elise
Writers:
David Birke, Philippe Djian, Harold Manning
Aka:
Oh!
Studio:
Lionsgate Films
Genres:
Drama, Thrillers
Countries:
France, Top 100 Films, Drama, Thrillers
BBFC:
Release Date:
10/07/2017
Run Time:
126 minutes
Languages:
French
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
Colour:
Colour
BBFC:
Release Date:
10/07/2017
Run Time:
130 minutes
Languages:
French
Subtitles:
English, English Hard of Hearing
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 2.35:1
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B

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Reviews (15) of Elle

Vacuous and depressing unrelaity - Elle review by JG

Spoiler Alert
27/09/2017

Despite Huppert's rave reviews (well-earned no doubt) I found this film desperately depressing. Ms Huppert likes playing very odd women (The Pianist) and this is probably the most extreme example of this. My objection to this film was that all the characters seem to live in a world I cannot recognise, a value-free self-absorbed universe. I suppose film isn't necessarily about the real world and I very much suspect the world of this film is just the fantasy of the filmmakers (or is it just French?). But it is presented as the real world unlike Harry Potter. The main character seems empty, vacuous just moving from one epidode to another with no feeling or involvement. It's robotic. Does she care about anything? Well yes, there is something between her and her son but despite this she seems to me two dimensional, just a vehicle for Verhoeven's desire for sensationalism. There is no 'value-system' anywhere. Amorality in extremis. A thoroughly lowering couple of hours.

5 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

Empty drama - Elle review by Alphaville

Spoiler Alert
22/08/2017

Less flamboyant than his American films such as Basic Instinct and Showgirls, this Paul Verhoeven film redresses the balance far too much. For much of its length it’s so subdued it’s soporific. Isabelle Huppert is raped in the first scene then we follow her in her everyday life to get to know more about her. She contributes a great performance and it’s all efficiently directed, but the various subplots are just not that interesting.

No character behaves in any way that makes psychological sense. Cold fish Elle herself, the ridiculous rapist, her over-emoting son, her so-called friends and work colleagues who may or may not like her. Sure, it’s meant to be amoral, but there’s no sense of reality to hold on to, which makes her rape and the cold way she reacts to it difficult to engage with. To say more would require spoilers.

If you stick with it the plot does eventually break out with incident, but only to make what’s gone before even more unbelievable.

4 out of 5 members found this review helpful.

Huppert is great as usual, but there's a nasty taste... - Elle review by TE

Spoiler Alert
21/03/2018

This is a scattergun display of urban amorality. Nothing wrong with that, except that there is little internal consistency or character development in the film.

The best thing about it is the effortless way that Isabelle Huppert holds the screen for pretty much the entire movie.

The reason the rape theme is so problematic is not just in its explicitly portrayed violence, it is because Michele makes herself a victim again even after finding out who the perpetrator is. There is therefore a queasy suggestion that she enjoys it, and this makes Verhoeven's motives very questionable.

Even in the final pay-off Michele is not allowed to be the agent of her abuser's retribution, it is another male character who saves her.

3 out of 4 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

Elle (aka Oh!) review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso

Elle is…well it’s hard to describe since there’s nothing quite like it on the market. One thing is certain however: Elle is Isabelle Huppert’s magnum opus and Paul Verhoeven unsung masterpiece, his swansong if you may, whatever those three adjectives may entail – now and thousand years in the future from now. And the acting: oh my god; Huppert’s performance alone is worth the price of admission, even if the story falters at times and the conclusion is just weak. That doesn’t matter though, since Huppert’s performance rises above the film and above everything else in something that would be appreciated more as the years go by. And just like fine wine, Elle will be remembered as that film that no one saw, but everyone liked (in a Citizen Kane fashion) full stop.

The film starts off, let’s just say brave. We see how the main protagonist Michèle (Isabelle Huppert) experiences a disturbing fate, as a masked man wrestles her to the ground and has his way with her (in a moment that lasts way more than audiences should expect in the first place). Who is that man? And why is Michèle practically unmoved after a scene that most would gnaw in horrible disgust to? There are no simple answers here, only a ton of questions that pull the audience in along for the ride.

Elle’s script is so-so, featuring a strong visual delivery in a convoluted narrative mess that somehow works. In fact, the story is literally following the viewer in circles, throwing hints that go nowhere, a subplot that doesn’t realize as well as it should, and other characters that add nothing whatsoever to the story (they kind of do, but it goes nowhere in particular). One area I felt disappointed is Verhoeven’s approach to the thriller aspects of the film, and to this extent some may feel cheated as I did, since the story had so much potential in that particular aspect. But Elle is not a thriller (although posing as one) neither a mystery, since the biggest reveal happens in the first half of the film. Then what exactly is Elle? It’s a character drama, plain and simple. One that revolves around a woman whose daily façade keeps her deepest desires buried within – desires that would make an average sane woman turn insane in a heartbeat. Not Michèle though, as her insatiable and unconventional sexual appetites, as hard as they are to please, are there to stay for the majority of the film (and probably afterwards as well).

For the solemnly prudent: you may want to steer away from this film and opt for an easy way out with a thriller or a comedy of another caliber. Elle is disturbing on so many levels that cannot go away like a movie monster could since they’re not tangible and something that can be killed with the swing of a bat or a shot of a gun. Therefore, go into Elle with an open mind and make sure to hug the seat closest to the exit in case your values conflict with those presented on the big screen.

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