"Elle" & "12 Days of Christmas Catch Up," preview

Last night I watched "Elle," directed by PaulVerhoeven and written by David Birke (based on a book by Philippe Djan). And starring the incomporable Isabell Huppert.

Expectations couldn't have been higher for me. First of all, I've been hearing about the talents of Isabelle Huppert for years but had managed to miss everything she had been in. Or so I thought. When I went to IMDB I realized that she was in "Amour," but to be honest I don't remember much about the film. It was one of the dark Oscar times when I was seeing multiple films a day on whatever device I could manage and probably not watching with both eyes.

That being said, I was ready to be blown away. Generally when my expectations are high it takes a moment to sink into a film, but "Elle"'s opening doesn't realy allow for that. Verhoeven takes us there, straight away.

Huppert is indeed incredible as is the film. Talk about a perfect combination of actor and director.  The space Paul Verhoeven creates her all the actors, but Huppert especially, is breathtaking. I read somewhere that he creates a perfect landscape for Huppert to do her thing. And that is so true.  But it goes beyond that. This would not have been the same film in America. For one thing, Michele smokes! It's France, for goodness sakes.

I have heard "Elle" described as a rape/revenge tale. And I could not disagree more. It is an exploration of sexuality and cause and effect. The backbone cause/effect being an event in Michele's childhood and the inciting incident cause/effect being the rape. The film is not about a rape or revenge, it is about, well, Elle!

I won't go into too much more here, but, although not a slam dunk with the Academy for a win, Huppert is certainly one of the world's best actresses and this is a great performance. And one of the best films of the year, for certain.

NOW...tomorrow begins my series, "12 Days of Christmas Catch Up." Each day leading up to Christmas I will watch one film and post about the process. You may have noticed that I've been a good Oscar boy and have already begun daily posts trying to catch up. The truth of the matter is, the next 12 days depend on how films are platformed into Memphis. I might have to pull my pennies together for a trip to Memphis tomorrow night to see "Nocturnal Animals" if it's leaving the cinema this week. I can't miss this film. I'm already bummed about missing "American Honey" and I'm not certain that screener is headed my way anymore.  Let's take a look at my list. I've added "Sully" and "Hail Caeser" to Must sees and sadly moving "American Honey" to the 2nd tier.  I also added "Fences," because I completely forgot about it! Hoping nothing else pops into my head.

Must sees!

Closet Monster
The Lobster
Toni Erdmann 
Hell or High Water 
Nocturnal Animals
The Witch
Rogue One
La La Land
20th Century Women
Hail Caeser

2nd tier
American Honey
The Red Turtle
The Eagle Huntress
Maggie's Plan
Miss You Already
Knight of Cups
Other People

Probably ot happening....
Land of Mine
Finding Dory 
X Men Apocalypse
Suicide Squad
Batman v/s Superman
The Meddler
Miles Ahead
The Hollars

Don't Think Twice
Captain Fantastic


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