Past Event28 Jul - 31 Jul 2016


No longer available

The Civic


Isabelle Huppert delivers a standout performance in this electrifying comeback from master genre disrupter Paul Verhoeven.

“Paul Verhoeven’s Elle saw Cannes Competition 69 out on a high note. This beautifully judged drama/thriller is all about a provocatively powerful woman, much like Verhoeven’s last Competition entry – Basic Instinct, which played back in 1992. Elle is that picture’s equal, and, in a similar way, captures a new moment for film’s femme fatale.

Elle, starring the unrivalled Isabelle Huppert, threads sexual intrigue with knife-edged danger, punctuated by the occasional relief of unexpected, uneasy humour. It’s a film which could only have come from the hands of the Dutch master, back after a 10-year-absence since Black Book – and how we have missed him.

Huppert has rarely been better as the head of a videogame company who is attacked and raped in her home by a masked intruder. This plays out, however, at the onset and is just a launchpad for Verhoeven to examine his career-long themes of power and domination afresh.” - Fionnuala Halligan, Screendaily

“If our modern age is partially defined by outrage culture, trigger warnings, and sensitivity training seminars (all of which have their function), the glee with which Verhoeven and Huppert openly, even playfully, defy any concession to cultural correctness is breathtaking. The cinema of the #problematic may have just found its Citizen Kane.” - Jessica Kiang, The Playlist


France/Germany 2016
130 mins
In French with English subtitles

Director: Paul Verhoeven

Producers: Saïd Ben Saïd, Michel Merkt

Screenplay: David Birke. Based on the novelOh… by Philippe Djian

Photography: Stéphane Fontaine

Editor: Job ter Burg

Production designer: Laurent Ott

Costume designer: Nathalie Raoul

Music: Anne Dudley

With: Isabelle Huppert (Michèle), Laurent Lafitte (Patrick), Anne Consigny (Anna), Charles Berling (Richard), Virginie Efria (Rebecca), Christian Berkel (Robert), Judith Magre (Irène), Jonas Bloquet (Vincent), Alice Isaaz (Josie), Vimala Pons (Hélène), Raphaël Lenglet (Ralf), Arthur Mazet (Kevin), Lucas Prisor (Kurt), Hugo Conzelmann (Phillip Kwan), Stéphane Bak (Omar)

Festivals: Cannes (In Competition) 2016

For tickets and details about films at other venues, please visit the New Zealand International Film Festival website.

Watch this trailer

“Whatever your take, it’s a film that will inspire debate for decades to come.”
Catherine Bray, Time Out

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