Elles (2011) is a French,English,Polish movie. Malgorzata Szumowska has directed this movie. Juliette Binoche,Anaïs Demoustier,Joanna Kulig,Louis-Do de Lencquesaing are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2011. Elles (2011) is considered one of the best Drama movie in India and around the world.
Anne (Juliette Binoche), a well-off, Paris-based mother of two and investigative journalist for ELLE, is writing an article about student prostitution. Her meetings with two fiercely independent young women, Alicja (Joanna Kulig) and Charlotte (Anais Demoustier), are profound and unsettling, moving her to question her most intimate convictions about money, family and sex.
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Showcase for Binoche's acting talent
The star of this movie is Juliette Binoche, who plays a reporter for Elle Magazine writing a story about two students earning a living as call girls. She leads the life of a typical bourgeois woman, with a husband and two sons, a big Parisian apartment, design kitchen and expensive clothes. She has everything she wants. But at the same time, her life is shallow and limited. The conversations with the two girls make her realize that there is more to life than she thinks, and she starts to doubt her own values and certainties. The students confront her with the relativity of the things she takes for granted. 'Do you have a bathroom with a view?', asks the girl who hates the poor quality of life in her working class neighbourhood. 'I guess so, I've never thought about it', answers Binoche's character. And as she says it, she realizes how lucky she is to have a life many can only dream of. At first, she is shocked by the girls' relaxed attitude towards prostitution. Later on, she realizes that in reality these girls are everything she herself isn't: independent, adventurous, open minded, rebellious, ambitious. Binoche is perfect in the way she expresses the doubts and confusion of her character. 'Elles' is a showcase for Binoche's acting talent. Polish director Szumowska does a nice job by switching from the girls' sexual encounters with their clients to Binoche's daily routine of making breakfast, cooking dinner and washing clothes. The contrasts between the scenes accentuate the difference in lifestyle of the characters.
Disappointing but some redeeming features
I was expecting Juliette Binoche to be as fabulous as she normally is, but she was the disappointment among the three female leads. To be fair, I think it was the fault of the part, rather than faults in her performance. I think the idea was that her character, the journalist, got so involved in what she was researching and writing that she forgot about her own life and family until the story was finished; but the result was that her character was just a mess. What I liked about the film was what seemed to be a much more honest and realistic portrayal of the two prostitutes than we normally see. Both were very believable. Both students, one (Anaïs Demoustier as Charlotte) in control of what she was doing, and the other (Joanna Kulig as Alicja) drinking to much and seemingly headed for disaster. Both of them liked sex; Charlotte liked the sex she had with her customers apparently just as much as she liked the sex she had with her boyfriend. You don't see that in Hollywood movies. In Hollywood movies the prostitutes never kiss and they never have orgasms, and they all hate what they're doing. In this film, Charlotte didn't hate it at all, in fact she liked it a lot; whereas Joanna said that she liked it, and seemed to like the physical sensations, but also seemed to hate the idea of what she was doing. That seemed pretty realistic to me. There were two things that struck me particularly. One was quite early on in the film, when Juliette Binoche asked Charlotte why she kept working. The answer was that the money was hard to give up. The second was from Charlotte again, and again in answer to a question from Juliette. The question was, what was the worst thing about the work, and the answer was having to tell lies all the time. Both of those things rang pretty true to me. So what it comes down to is a more realistic portrayal of prostitution than we normally get, but a rather messy movie with a rather messy central character.
According to some reports, great many female students in France financed their studies from prostitution. This film starts from this report. Juliette Binoche plays the journalist who interviews two of these girls. Many times. She tries to analyze it all from a cold professional view, but finds that she is the one who changes and maybe also gets analyzed. The girls tell her they are abused sometimes, but Binoche is the one who takes the biggest injuries. Interesting film about "Western morals" declining more and more in all ways, since we're not interesting in sharing profits like we used to. But the film is a little cold and and analyzing, just like a professional journalist should be.
Sex, Fantasies, Family and Lies
In Paris, Elle Magazine's journalist Anne (Juliette Binoche) is assigned to write a four-page article about prostitution. Anne is a middle class mother and housewife that lives a routine life in a comfortable apartment with her husband Patrick (Louis-Do de Lencquesaing) and her two sons, the teenager Florent (François Civil) and the boy Stéphane (Pablo Beugnet). Anne contacts the college students and call-girls Charlotte "Lola" (Anaïs Demoustier) and Alicja (Joanna Kulig) and she interviews them. They tell details of their sexual experience with their clients, most of them married and aged enough to be their fathers, who are seeking kinky sex that they do not do with their wives. In the beginning, Anne is shocked with the humiliations and perversions that the girls are submitted to keep their lifestyles. But soon she realizes how tedious her life is and she fantasizes sexual encounters with their clients. Further, she changes her opinion and attitude towards the girls that have good time in their lives with their independence. But in the end, she wears the society mask and returns to her routine life with her family. "Elles" is a sensual and erotic drama with the theme of prostitution that has been already explored in other movies. The greatest difference is Juliette Binoche, who is perfect in the role of a bourgeois woman that lives in conflict with herself and her family after discovering a different world through her contact with young whores. The contrast of their lives is well used in the screenplay that alternates the girls having sex with clients and Juliette Binoche cooking, washing and cleaning at home. Inclusive it seems that this actress burned her hand indeed while cooking. There are scenes very explicit with the sexy and gorgeous French actress Anaïs Demoustier and Polish actress Joanna Kulig that are exploitation and certainly will unpleased many viewers. Last but not the least, the music score with classic is another plus in this movie. My vote is seven. Title (Brazil): "Elles"
Depressingly bad, loaded with gratuitous porn.
This film is embarrassing on two levels: first because it's story line is so weak, and second because it ends not with a bang but a whimper. Oh, and there is also the seemingly endless sequence of fleshy scenes that serve to glorify porn and prostitution at one and the same time (the scenes include a sickening rape carried out with a bottle). The narrative appears to run something like this - A wealthy, materialistic magazine writer, trapped in a dull haute bourgeois lifestyle, sets out to investigate student prostitution. She is soon seduced by the charms of the girls and concludes that 'all men are bastards', including her boring husband, who uses her as a perfect dinner hostess in order to suck up to his boss. In a climactic scene, she walks out of the dinner party, leaving her husband and her (vile) male guests high and dry. But lo! Does she go off to join the free and easy (and wealthy) student prostitutes in their care-free, hedonistic life? Er, no! In very short order she returns to the breakfast table to serve the orange juice and muesli to her still dull, bourgeois husband and kids. Fin! To add to the (dis)pleasure, there are a number of odd sequences which seem to have no connection to the already fragile narrative thread: the writer visits and old man in hospital (is it her father?) and gives him a foot massage; she attempts to use a lavatory but finds she 'cannot continue'; she repeatedly tries to close the door of the family refrigerator but it won't close because an item on one of the door shelves has become dislodged. This unenlightening and unpleasant movie is one to avoid, Ms. Binoche notwithstanding. (Viewed at The Cornerhouse, Manchester, UK, 21 April 2012)