★★★★★ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki
"I killed you by coming here." That's an amazing quote by Isabelle Huppert in Elle, the best foreign-language film of the year. The film is based on the 2012 novel Oh... by Philippe Djian. Huppert plays Michèle Leblanc, a founder of a video game company in Paris. Her son, Vincent (played by Jonas Bloquet) is giving in to his controlling & unfaithful girlfriend, Josie (played by Alice Isaaz). She is also divorced from her husband, Richard (played by Charles Berling). She is currently in an affair with Robert (played by Christian Berkel), the husband of her best friend, Anna (played by Anne Consigny). And she is infatuated with her new neighbor, Patrick (played by Laurent Lafitte).
One morning, Michèle is raped & attacked in her home by a masked assailant. After the rape, she continues on with her life. She decides not to report the rape to law enforcement because of a childhood incident in which she was implicated has come back to light & caused a media frenzy. At her video game company, where her male colleagues either hate her or are infatuated with her, Michèle becomes suspicious of them. She will stop at nothing to find out who raped her. But when she finds out who it is, her life changes even more.
Isabelle Huppert's performance is the best of her career, & her Oscar nomination was extremely well-deserved. Paul Verhoeven's direction is excellent, with this being his best film yet. David Birke's screenplay is brilliant. And the dark & brooding film score by Anne Dudley is excellent. At times a psychological thriller, at times a searing drama, & at times a (shockingly) dark comedy, this is one of the most deranged films I've ever seen.