Like her career, Michèle has always micromanaged her life; she's constantly in control and has an demeanour about her that makes her almost indestructible. This is all changed when she is attacked in her home, a space people associate as a safe haven.
Michèle deals with the attack in her own way and tracks down the man who assaulted her and the foes are both drawn into a dangerous game which could lead to either of them being killed.
Elle is based on Philippe Djian's novel 'Oh', director Paul Verhoeven explains how he was given the original idea from producer Said Ben Said: "The idea wasn't mine; it came from the producer, Saïd Ben Saïd. He contacted me in the US, sent me Philippe Djian's novel, which I read and found very interesting. I knew we had the material for a movie, but I had to think it through and find my way of appropriating a story I would never have come up with myself."
There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences right the way through to a chilling climax. Directed by Paul Verhoeven (Basic Instinct), it's all rather bonkers, but it's also darkly grounded in a multi-layered performance from the great Isabelle Huppert. Shocking plot twists, nasty violence and sex, characters who refuse to behave like the usual stereotypes - the film is bracingly original and riotously unforgettable.
Huppert plays Michele, who owns a Paris videogame company with her best friend Anna (Anne Consigny). She's utterly unapologetic about how she approaches her life, including the fact that she has just been violently assaulted by a masked man who broke into her home. But there's a reason for her refusal to go to the police: when she was 10, her father went on a violent killing spree, putting her face all over the press as her father was sentenced to life in prison. Even so, her ex-husband Richard (Charles Berling) is horrified that she wouldn't report a rape to the cops. Her nervous neighbours Patrick and Rebecca (Laurent Lafitte and Virginie Efira) offer support. But Michele insists on handling everything on her own terms, including how she deals with her senile mother (Judith Magre) and her dim son (Jonas Bloquet) and his psycho pregnant girlfriend (Alice Isaaz).
As always, Huppert underplays the role beautifully, conveying more in a stony glance than most actors do with an emotional tirade. She gives Michele a fierce internal energy that leads to jaw-dropping actions. As her situation gets increasingly urgent, Alice refuses to panic. It's a tour-de-force performance that often takes the breath away because Michele's stubbornness is so blackly hilarious. The other characters swirl around her haplessly, and each actor adds his or her own details that bring them to life in unexpected ways.
Continue reading: Elle Review
Colin (Romain Duris) is a rich inventor living in fantasy Paris who has focused his career on advancing his latest machine, the pianocktail; a piano that can also make cocktails for the thirsty instrumentalist. But his sights are soon turned away when he discovers that his best friend Chick is in love with a woman called Alise. Aggrieved by the thought of a life of loneliness, he decides to embark on a romantic adventure himself when he meets the quirky Chloe (Audrey Tautou) at a party. Initially a little awkward, Colin and Chloe fall dazzlingly in love. However, their happiness is soon compromised when Chloe falls deathly ill with a rare disease whereby a waterlily is growing inside her lung. Her only cure is to be surrounded by fresh flowers, but the question is, just how long can Colin keep up the treatment?
Originally entitled 'L'écume des jours', 'Mood Indigo' is a French fantasy romance based on the 1947 cult novel 'Froth on the Daydream' by Boris Vian. The movie has been directed by Academy Award winner Michel Gondry ('Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', 'The Science of Sleep') and co-written by Luc Bossi ('The Prey', 'L'empire des loups'). It won a Cesar Award at the 2014 ceremony where it was nominated for a further two awards, and it was also nominated for four prizes at the Lumiere Awards. 'Mood Indigo' is due for UK cinematic release on August 1st 2014.
An old-school caper comedy, this goofy romp struggles to surmount its badly contrived screenplay. Fortunately writer-director Joel Hopkins also has gorgeous locations and a cast of pros who are unafraid to make complete idiots of themselves. They keep us chuckling even when things turn far too silly.
It starts with a hostile corporate takeover in Britain that costs Richard (Pierce Brosnan) and his ex-wife Kate (Emma Thompson) their income and pensions. Still feuding years after their marriage fell apart, they decide to team up, head to Paris and confront new owner Vincent (Laurent Lafitte) about their predicament, as well as the sudden poverty of all of Richard's employees. But Vincent cruelly dismisses them, noting that he liquidated Richard's company to help pay for his extravagant wedding to trophy wide Manon (Louise Bourgoin), who now sports a $10m diamond. So Richard and Kate impulsively decide to crash the marriage and steal the diamond with some help from their old pals Penelope and Jerry (Celia Imrie and Timothy Spall) and their computer-expert son Matt (Jack Wilkinson) back in Britain.
The idea is so preposterous that we just have to go with it, but Hopkins' script never bothers to fill in the gaping plot holes, merely charging into each corny set-piece with gusto. Thomson gets all the needed information about the wedding by joining in on the hen weekend. Spall has a series of dark-horse skills up his sleeve. Wilkinson seems able to do all manner of technical wizardry except the one thing that forces our four heroes to scuba-dive across the bay and scale a cliff, James Bond-style.
Continue reading: The Love Punch Review
Richard and Kate are middle-class and middle-aged parents who have come to the end of their marriage, finding it hardly possible to bear being in the same room together. However, as their daughter Sophie moves to university, they find themselves alone together and their lives are about to change dramatically. Richard has discovered that his investment firm has been the subject of a fraud scheme, stripping him of any assets including his and Kate's retirement fund. They decide to travel to Paris to target the man responsible and on the way discover that he has given his fiancée a diamond necklace worth $10 million. The couple must re-unite once again if they want to get their nest egg back, which they plan on doing by stealing the diamond with their best friends Jerry and Penelope. Meanwhile, it seems the animosity between Richard and Kate is beginning to wane.
Continue: The Love Punch Trailer
Laurent Lafitte and Francois Damiens - 23/2/2013, Paris. France laurent lafitte et francois damiens arrive au Fouquets apres la ceremonie des cesars laurent lafitte et francois damiens © Jonathan Rebboah/1st Views - Paris, Fouquets Restaurant, France - Saturday 23rd February 2013
After their friend Ludo (Dujardin) is injured in a crash, his friends agonise over whether they should carry on with plans for their annual month-long holiday at the seaside. As he recovers, they head off for two weeks. But his absence causes a series of ripples. The host Max (Cluzet) is becoming increasingly paranoid due to an uncomfortable revelation made by his best pal Vincent (Magimel), while their wives (Bonneton and Arbillot) have no idea what the problem is. Meanwhile, three others (Cotillard, Lellouche and Lafitte) are trying to resolve their own romantic issues.
Continue reading: Little White Lies [Les Petits Mouchoirs] Review
For years it's been tradition for Max and his friend to take a yearly holiday at his beach house, this year is set to be no different until one of the group is seriously injured in a car crash. The group of old friends visit the injured Ludo in hospital and decide that they should still go ahead with their trip.
Continue: Little White Lies Trailer
Like her career, Michèle has always micromanaged her life; she's constantly in control and has...
There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...
Colin (Romain Duris) is a rich inventor living in fantasy Paris who has focused his...
An old-school caper comedy, this goofy romp struggles to surmount its badly contrived screenplay. Fortunately...
Richard and Kate are middle-class and middle-aged parents who have come to the end of...
With echoes of The Big Chill, this epic-length French comedy-drama explores with raw honesty the...