Though Showgirls eventually achieved camp/cult status, it was a major strike against Paul Verhoeven’s career. He couldn’t find steady footing in Hollywood afterwards, Starship Troopers notwithstanding. Showgirls also torpedoed Elizabeth Berkley career as an actress, which was unfortunate. Verhoeven returned to his native Netherlands, where he made Black Book (Zwartboek) in 2006, an award-winning return to form.
Since then, Verhoeven’s struggled to find projects. He did a semi-crowd-sourced farce with Tricked in 2012, which was an interesting though disappointing experiment. The director seems back on track with his controversial new French-language feature Elle, starring Isabelle Huppert. It screened at Cannes where it received excellent reviews. Leslie Felperin for The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Elle is “the most empowering ‘Rape Movie’ ever made.”
A trailer for Elle dropped last week.
Huppert has been praised for her performance in Elle. The film itself has been described as funny, dark, disturbing, and provocative, offering an unflinching insight into the experience of a rape survivor.
Here’s an official synopsis for Elle from Sony Pictures Classics:
Michèle seems indestructible. Head of a leading video game company, she brings the same ruthless attitude to her love life as to business. Being attacked in her home by an unknown assailant changes Michèle’s life forever. When she resolutely tracks the man down, they are both drawn into a curious and thrilling game–a game that may, at any moment, spiral out of control.
Elle will be released in New York on November 11th and in Los Angeles on November 16th. The film will be screening at this year’s New York Film Festival, which we will be covering here on Flixist. Look for our review and possibly some other features on Elle next month as part of our NYFF coverage,[via THR]