ELLE/TRIBUTE TO ISABELLE HUPPERT
Paul Verhoeven returns with his French-language debut and most sophisticated genre reworking to date. An adaptation of the French-Armenian novel "Oh…" by Philippe Djian, ELLE is a thriller as challenging as it is provocative. The inimitable Isabelle Huppert is Michèle LeBlanc, a successful video game company head who is brutally attacked in her home by a masked assailant. Having overcome family trauma and attained power in a male-dominated industry, Michèle has long cultivated a ruthless outward persona. In confronting her assault, she rejects victimization and, instead, determines to uncover the identity of her assailant, unwittingly drawing him into a perverse game of cat and mouse. Huppert wields both vulnerability and strength, lending a remarkable character of nuance and complexity to the body of work of an auteur all too often dismissed as camp. With ELLE and World Cinema entry THINGS TO COME (L' AVENIR), Huppert‘s expansive range is on full display at AFI FEST this year.
A Tribute preceding the Centerpiece Gala screening will celebrate Huppert's extraordinary career and will include a conversation with the actress.
Director Paul Verhoeven is one of the most provocative and controversial storytellers creating film entertainment today. His films reflect uncompromising vision, fascination with life’s moral dilemmas and honest depictions of sexuality and violence. They include international mega-hit ROBOCOP (1987), mind-tampering blockbuster TOTAL RECALL (1990), provocative drama BASIC INSTINCT (1992) and the robust and rousing STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997). This year’s ELLE competed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.