Friday, April 20, 2012
Elles (2011) Tribeca 2012
A film with good performances and some good scenes doesn't amount, other than being an all but sexually graphic film for people who won't buy porn.
The flaw of the film is the films organization. Ultimately the film is Juliette Binoche trying to finish a magazine story about two young women who work as prostitutes to pay for school on the day she is preparing dinner for her husband and his boss. What transpires is in two time frames: the now,Binoche cooking, and the past, the girls stories. The stories are intercut so that the stories happen all over the place. We don't know what happens when until late in the film. There are complications in that we see a few things, such as one of the girls mother finding a super fancy sex toy, which our outside either the girls or Binoche's ability to know what happened.
The film could have pulled it out had, the material been less jumbled or if the end amounted to something other than a big WTF. Its also kind of pat, with a happy family at the table. (I won't get into the cliches that drift through the film such as Binoche's husband having porn on his computer).
The film is a bust to me. Its a pretentious film that wants to be about something but isn't about anything. To be honest I would have put this on my least of the festival list had it not been for the performances and the scenes themselves. The film also has an aire of hypocrisy about it. The press notes say the film is about the hypocrisy the women being paid for sex have to endure. Sadly the film never really deals with that, instead it dwells in the realm of pure exploitation with some some steamy sex scenes (including one involving urination), which is all that anyone is ultimately going to remember.
I would take a pass.