Insanely twisted work of genius filmmaking.
Strictly speaking, Elle is a comedy, a blacker-than-death social satire about bourgeois values, set in contemporary Paris. It’s viciously, demonically funny in parts.
Huppert, an fearless actress (see The Piano Teacher), gives a performance that's a riveting mix of carnal and chilly – you can't take your eyes off her.
It’s all quite perverse for sure, which of course is no surprise coming from either the actress or the director, though what’s welcome about Elle is the way they combine their talents to make a film that hardly skimps on the sex, violence and sadism, yet ultimately tells a story about how one woman uses them all to set herself free.