Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Isabelle Huppert explores the dark side of the psyche
in Paul Verhoeven's 'Elle'

Isabelle Huppert’s role in “Elle,” France’s official entry for the 2017 Academy Awards, let her try on a range of emotional disguises for a woman whose rape at the hands of an unknown assailant is the catalyst for a bold psychological study. But the veteran French actress, who’s made films with directors from Chabrol to Cimino, found working with Dutch auteur Paul Verhoeven a welcome extension of her own versatility.

“It’s surreal. I think it’s very, very close to the reality of a human being, in a way,” she told an audience on Monday at TheWrap Screening Series in West Los Angeles. “The whole investigation of her psyche, the whole investigation of any relationships in the film, is so true. I think there’s a great amount of truthfulness. That’s what is so disturbing: the ambiguity of it, the complexity of someone who does what she does.”

In the film, which is Verhoeven’s first feature since “Black Book” (2006), Huppert portrays Michèle, the hard-charging director of a leading video game company based in Paris. After being sexually attacked in her home, she begins the process of tracking down the rapist — a search that yields surprising results and reveals her capacity to be both victim and victimizer in the real world. ...

Read the full story at TheWrap.

Image credit: Huppert: Ted Soqui Photography

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