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France / Germany / Belgium 2016
produced by
Saïd Ben Saïd, Michel Merkt for SBS Productions, Twenty Twenty Vision, France 2, Entre Chien et Loup, Canal+, France Télévisions, Orange Cinéma Séries, Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC)
directed by Paul Verhoeven
starring Isabelle Huppert, Laurent Lafitte, Anne Consigny, Charles Berling, Virginie Efira, Judith Magre, Christian Berkel, Jonas Bloquet, Alice Isaaz, Vimala Pons, Raphaël Lenglet, Arthur Mazet, Lucas Prisor, Hugo Conzelmann, Stéphane Bak, Hugues Martel, Anne Loiret, Nicolas Beaucaire
screenplay by David Birke, based on a novel by Philippe Djian, music by Anne Dudley

review by
Mike Haberfelner

One evening, pretty much out of nowhere, Michèle (Isabelle Huppert) is attacked and brutally raped by a masked man. Interestingly she doesn't report it to the police, orders food as if nothing has happened, and when her son Vincent (Jonas Bloquet) asks her about a visible scar, she lies to him. She, being head of a computer game company, even goes to work as usual, demands a rape scenes in one of the games they develop to be more violent (and explicit), and other than her buying pepper spray and an ax for protection, she acts as if nothing had happened. Heck, she even mentions it a dinner with her ex Richard (Charles Berling) whom she's still friend with, her business partner and best friend Anna (Anne Consigny) and Anna's husband Robert (Christian Berkel), who's also Michèle's lover, and while they are all shocked, she doesn't quite understand what the excitement's about. But secretly she tries to find out who her assailant was and the more she investigates, the more she comes to the conclusion it's someone in her sphere of acquaintances. But that doesn't keep her from excessively flirting with her (much younger) neighbour Patrick (Laurent Lafitte), despite him being married to deeply catholic and being much younger than Michèle. That said, she's still a very charming woman ...

Then though, Michèle's rapist returns, and this time she manages to unmask him. But what's more shocking than his identity is the way their relationship develops ...


Now you can say many bad things about Elle, it's over-convoluted, structured more like a novel than a film, its character motivations are not quite clear, the combination between violence and humour is a bit on the tasteless side, and it's approach to rape is weird at least - and I'd agree with you on most of this, but that said, Elle is a quite fascinating movie that doesn't deliver a cookie-cutter story but twists and turns throughout, it does feature well-fleshed out and multi-layered characters portrayed by a first rate cast, and the direction is subtle to elegant but manages to get down and dirty should need arise.

Rather fascinating a movie, actually.


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD