Elle: LFF Film Review 


I didn’t originally have Elle on my list of films to see at the film festival but I had heard so many good things about it, I had to try and catch it at a public screening and I’m so glad I did because it’s now one of my LFF favourites.

Isabelle Huppert stars as Elle, who is raped by an unknown assailant in her own home. We follow her life in the weeks and months following the attack and how she deals or chooses not to deal with it, especially when she finds out its identity.

It’s quite a hard sell – a subtitled psychological thriller about a rape victim – but trust me it’s not as depressing as it sounds. It’s actually darkly funny. Elle doesn’t act like a victim at all, in fact, she continues her life like nothing happened and even treats her attacker like a friend and it’s so bizarre and unexpected, you can’t help but laugh. She’s also funny in her own right cos of the way she speaks to her family and she just takes no shit, and the attacker better watch himself.

Like most LFF films, it is quite long but I could have watched more. I loved Elle as a character and I wanted to see what happened to her. She is a bit twisted and you want to scream “what are you doing?!” at her because her behaviour made no sense to me.

Elle isn’t going appeal to all but it is a gem which achieves a unique balance of thrills, suspense and laughs. It is somehow disturbing and light-hearted, shocking but funny – well done Paul Verhoeven.

Seen as part of the 60th BFI London Film Festival. It is set for U.K. cinema release in February 2017. 


  1. What makes this a particularly interesting sexual thriller is its deliberate ambivalence; Elle is both a perpetrator and a victim of sexual violence. The video game company she leads is at the dirty end of the game spectrum and her life is a parallel universe of hypocrisy. Fascinating film.



  1. […] victim, oh no. It would be rude to say any more. I saw it at LFF (you can read my review here) and I really want to see it again. Released: 10th […]


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