Elle of a Movie
You live with a dominant woman and then two more come along. First humourless Hedda and then the amazing Isabelle Huppert in Elle. Hell of a movie. Ok its a black comedy, revenge noir, a feminist take on the old line of sex as a power play. But all with that French brilliance, that wonderful Gallic shrug that says, you have monogamy, you stay faithful, bored and honest, poor you. Or is that the message? Does it end happily? Is that the point?
So with Restoration nonchalance hopeless husbands, feeble sons, sexually demanding best friends partners, mothers from one level of hell, the father from the lowest level, are thrown onto the burning pyre. The film is driven by rape. Brutal, violent and absolute but with an effect that is totally unexpected. The cat of course watches.
Isabelle is a powerful woman who runs a successful video games company which features rapes in its movies. But young men and powerful women work in this company, so games must be played. Drop them cowboy, sorry wrong size.
The sexual politics twist and turn, younger women make their bid but they just don’t have the cool, men come and go. In one great scene Isabelle who has taken a shine to her banker neighbour is sitting at her window with a pair of bins. Her quarry is setting up a life size babe in the manger tableau in the garden. He is carrying a Madonna under his arm. She is watching and masturbating. As you do. Sex and religion is far more compelling than sex and drugs. This is Restoration comedy at its bawdiest, most violent and most compelling. Totally French. Je l’aime.
And there is no Anglo Saxon actress who gets near Isabelle. Magnifique. I wrote my first fan letter yesterday. She is such a bitch, she will bin it. Merci, merci.