Deborah Ross

Victim mentality

If Paul Verhoeven’s new film has anything to say about sex, violence, desire, it passed me by

Elle has been described as ‘a rape revenge comedy’, which seems unlikely, and also as ‘post-feminist’, which is likely as, in my experience, that simply means anything goes so long as you acknowledge that feminism has happened. The film stars Isabelle Huppert, who was Oscar-nominated for her performance, and who has repeatedly said that her character, Michèle, is not ‘a victim’ although, as you have to watch Michèle being raped or near-raped several times, I don’t know how we can be so sure about that.

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