DIRECTOR: PAUL VERHOEVEN
Verhoeven’s seasonal celebration of aberrant psychology includes a tour de force performance by Huppert over Christmas dinner, in which she verbally decimates her mother, her ex-husband’s new girlfriend, her son, and her grandson (!), all before furtively fucking her business partner’s spouse. This is, it should be said, hardly the most transgressive moment in Elle, in which Huppert’s video game company head honcho enters into an ongoing relationship that blurs boundaries of consent with a man who has sexually assaulted her. A poker-faced comedy of bourgeois manners, with a majestically opaque Huppert as the black widow at the center of its tangled web.