Elles

"I see we share a stylist."
“I see we share a stylist.”

Anne (Juliette Binoche) is a writing a magazine feature on two young women who are paying their way through college by working as prostitutes. It seems they see more positives than negatives, and Anne starts to consider the emotional price tag of her own life as a middle-class wife and mother, with its stresses and flawed relationships.

That’s about it for the plot, despite the disguise of a chopped-up timeline. This French film should therefore annoy me more that it does, for all its pleasant interludes of explicit sex.

But it’s a beautiful study of non-verbal communication: not in the panting and grunting but in the interviews between Anne and the students; subtle power plays in which emotions and doubts emerge and dissipate. It’s a shame, though, that all the male characters are basically dicks, one way or another. 6/10

Released February 7, 2013.

 

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