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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Juliette Binoche
Anaïs Demoustier
Joanna Kulig
Tine Byrckel.
Directors
Malgorzata Szumowska.
Screenwriters
Malgorzata Szumowska.
Running Time
99 minutes

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Elles
Another tango in Paris


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Plot
Well-to-do French journalist Anne (Binoche) is researching a piece on student prostitution for Elle magazine. She finds two women, Alicja (Kulig) and Charlotte (Demoustier), who agree to talk about their experiences in unsparing detail.


Review
Elles
In Malgorzata Szumowska's follow-up to the little-seen 33 Sceny Z Życia, Juliette Binoche plays an Elle features writer whose interviews with teenage prostitutes (Anaïs Demoustier and Joanna Kulig) cause her to examine her own form of bourgeois servitude (marriage, kids). Binoche gives a fearless performance, complemented by the younger actresses. However, Szumowska’s insistence on staging the girls’ revelations as tastefully lit and largely consequence-free sex scenes serves to undermine her cause — always assuming she set out to make an intellectually exploratory, 21st century Belle De Jour, not an art-house exploitation film. Although intricately written and beautifully shot, Elles veers more towards the latter than the former. It’s a shame, when it could so easily have been a Shame.


Verdict
Another bravura performance from Juliette Binoche glosses over the flaws in a soft-focused glimpse at the seamier side of student life.


Reviewed by David Hughes

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Elles
Empire Star Rating

Heartbreaking

I disagree with Empire's criticism of the way the sex scenes have been shot. There is a romanticism to them, but I think this reflects the journalist's perspective. What we're seeing is less a commentary in prostitution, and more an inspired look at the life of a middle-aged woman. In fact, when we get to the third act it's apparent just how successful this has been. As a man, I can't recall another film that has made me appreciate so much what my wife does for our family, and how little credit ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by vladimirimp at 21:24, 23 August 2012 | Report This Post



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