Tag: Isabelle Huppert


Halo, ich heiße Greta. Ja ja ja. I totally know german. I mean, ich spreche Deutsch.

Greta isn’t even about a German! But, I of course think of Hansel and Greta, who may not have been German either, but it is something I like to pretend.

Greta is a movie I knew nothing about going into, expect that it would probably be creepy.

“Creepy like a Greta on a Wednesday afternoon,” Hannibal, probably.

Ah yes, let’s stare at each other. That’s totally being Greta.

Frances McCullen (Chloë Grace Moretz), who is not Greta, is a Bostonian pretending to be a New Yorker. She is supposed to have a good spirit, trust people, be all loving. You know, not a typical New Yorker (or person from Boston. Should have made her from the Midwest). She is living in a loft with her friend, Erica Penn (Maika Monroe), whose family is rich and pays for the place.

Still though, New York is an experience. No real goals, just to get a job, see where life takes her.

And then she finds a bag on the train. A nice bag, with a wallet, some money, some random pills and shit. And so being the nice girl that she is, she finds the address and returns it in person to one Greta Hideg (Isabelle Huppert), which is of course an anagram for Egghead Rit.

She is old, lonely, but friendly, and Frances feels bad for her. So they share information, she helps her get a dog, and before she knows it, they are now having dinner dates and walks because they enjoy each others company. But Frances will quickly find out that Greta isn’t what she is claiming to be, and she might have other plans for Frances.

Typical stuff, like cleaning floors with your body.

Greta is not like normal villains. She is older, she is frail, and she is able to hold a lot in to herself. We see so much of her personality come out when she is doing the bad stuff, when she can fight through pain, when she dances around the house in a chaotic situation, her just sheer insanity.

Greta is a slower moving film, but it draws you in by having Moretz’s character determine something weird is going on really early and trying to avoid Greta as a lot of the film’s action. The ending gets a bit wild too, when we fully see what Greta is doing, has been doing, and more.

The ending is a bit of a crowd pleaser and goes a bit by the numbers, however. I thought it was a bit uninspired based on the rest of the film. It also does move at a relatively slow pace overall. I mean, we don’t have a high body count, and Greta isn’t very physical throughout most of it, so it is the creepiness of smaller actions that has to entertain the viewer. I personally felt myself battling with falling asleep in the middle of the movie, until certain events really picked things up.

Greta is still a good change of pace, and hopefully a good direction for thrillers in the future.

2 out of 4.


At some point, I probably just assumed that Paul Verhoeven was dead. His last movie was in 2012, Tricked, and I never really heard about it. Before that, 2006, Black Book, another I hadn’t ever seen. And before that, 2000, Hallow Man, which totally fits his style.

He has gotten older so I don’t expect a movie every 2 years, but man he used to be so on the map.

So when I saw Elle I basically ignored it (even with the awards talk), I just can only see so many subtitled movies in a year. It takes a lot out of me when I am in a job that makes me pass out before 9pm most nights. But with Verhoeven directing as some sort of thriller? Where sex and violence might be brought up to 11? Sure, I will give it a shot.

If anything, it will still help me prepare for the Oscars.

Editor said I cannot make a reference about her reminding me of the hook lady from Boston Public, no one would get it.

And at the beginning, Michèle Leblanc (Isabelle Huppert) is raped. In her own home, by a man in a ski mask. She is the head of a video game company in France, with her business partner Anna (Anne Consigny). Her father was a serial killer, found out when she was a young girl, so she has been lashed out against all the time. This has led her to becoming a strong and successful woman, independent as fuck, so how could she be raped in her own damn house?

She doesn’t trust the police, given her childhood problems. So she doesn’t report it, confides in some friends, and goes about her business. After all, her game company has a deadline and they have to finish the product. But at the same time, she begins her own independent investigation as to the culprit. Could it be one of her angry workers? One of the many enemies she has outside of the job? Some pissed off citizen or neighbor?

Whoever it is, Elle is going to handle it on her own. While dealing with a son (Jonas Bloquet) who has grown up to be a little bitch, affairs, and more.

Also starring Christian Berkel, Judith Magre, Virginie Efira, Charles Berling, Alice Isaaz, and Laurent Lafitte.

Revenge is a dish best served with a cold weapon.

At its best, Elle is a slow burn that has a lot of subplots and a couple twisty moments to tell an over two hour story. At the same time, some of these slower moments and subplots do the obvious thing and slow the story down significantly.

All of the plot with the son and his baby? They do end up mattering, but it is a strange thing to watch until it becomes apparent. The extra parts about getting the game in on deadline? Well, besides red herrings, they bring a sense of realism to the story. Her relationship with her father? Well, that explains why Elle is so fucked up and police scared.

Despite wanting to complain that there are slower moments and slower scenes, on my own it is hard to find something that IS actual cut worthy and necessary, in order to tell the complete story.

Huppert gives a nuanced performance as our lead, having to deal with a lot of her internal struggles despite external forces pressing down on her. She has all of the baggage in the world, isn’t a perfect character, and sadistic.

A very interesting character study, despite getting bogged down in excessive story details (yes, that I am unable to pin point exactly. Shut up).

3 out of 4.

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him/Her/Them

Movies in 2014 brought us some incredibly new and wonderful experiences. Boyhood took 12 years to film, doing a little bit each year to watch the actors grow old. Birdman was edited in a fine way to make it seem like just one long continuous shot. Both fantastic films, my 1 and 2 from the year.

But there was another movie that was unique last year that interested me. The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby. On its own, it doesn’t seem like that innovative of a film. However, it is collectively three films in one.

On the surface it is just about a relationship. Specifically, the three versions are called Him, Her, and Them. Him is the plot from mainly the guy’s point of view and Her is the girl’s point of view. Them is a more typically told story, telling bits and pieces of their sides and is a much more standard film.

And I wanted to see it all of 2014. I wanted to watch it as soon as it hit Blu-Ray. It has been on Netflix for months, all three parts! Welcome to Day 3 of my Fucking Finally week.

First comes love…

Conor (James McAvoy) and Eleanor (Jessica Chastain) have had a long relationship. They even married! Serious stuff. But no one would describe their lives as remarkable. Eleanor came from an academic family, but left her PhD program in Anthropology, when she got pregnant. Conor is the son of a restaurant God in NYC, who also has bad relationships, and is now attempting to run his own restaurant without his dad’s help.

But then one of the worst things happen. They lost their baby boy, really young. Their grief came in different ways, driving a wedge between them. After a few months, Eleanor wants to take a brake from their relationship, frustrated where things are going, and that is really where our story begins.

In Him, we mostly get to see Conor flailing about trying to deal with his emotions by repressing them like a motherfucker. They still come out in bursts, like when he has attacked unruly customers. His best friend and chef (Bill Hader) is even getting sick of his shit.

Conor sort of starts to stalk Eleanor a little bit as well, following her around but never having the courage to talk to her until he resorts back to a kid in middle school and passes her a note, quite creepily. His story also features Ciaran Hinds as his father, and Nina Arianda as an employee who has feelings for him.

Then comes stalking after heartbreak and sadness…

In Her, we don’t even see Conor for the until the awkward scene above. James McAvoy is barely in this film and it is definitely all about Eleanor.

It starts with her injury and then her going on her own to the hospital. Eleanor decides to go home with her parents and sister. The mom (Isabelle Huppert) is French through and through, always seen with a glass of wine. Her dad (William Hurt) is still a psychologist at the local university, and her younger sister (Jess Weixler) has a little boy of her own, but no man or boyfriend in her life. She was already living with the parents still. Her family tries to get her help, but can’t seem to provide enough help on their own, the awkwardness of the whole situation. Some psychology degree, am I right?

So she does go to the local college to take a few classes. There she develops a nice bond with another psychology professor (Viola Davis), who is able to talk to her like a real person about normal things, since she knows nothing about Eleanor’s last few months. Her time alone allows Eleanor an attempt to find herself, and interact with Conor on her own terms in her own ways. Slowly, surely, and eventually full of hope.

In Them, it is the longest of the films at just over 2 hours. However, it is literally just everything you seen before. You still get the scenes between them, but this time you also get some of their individual scenes.

Them is packaged in a way so that it can be their complete story in a regular time frame for a regular movie. A movie about sadness and grief and how two different people cope. Technically, some of the scenes between them we see from a few different angles, but it is just a cram packed version with less individual detail on each character. Although, when watching it, it still felt like it featured a lot more of Her than Him.

Then comes alcohol to end all of the sadness!

Five hours, twelve minutes. That is how long watching these three movies took overall. That is if you want the full experience. The good news? You don’t have to see all three for the full experience!

In fact, you shouldn’t watch all three, and definitely not in the same week. You should only watch Him and Her, or Them, not all three. If you just watch the first two, you will get a very unique experience and you will get it in three hours, nine minutes. A much more reasonable amount of time. If you are feeling lazy or want a very regular saddish drama, then just go for Them. Its like a not very effective cliff notes.

Now, I watched them in Him, Her, and Them order because it just seemed to make sense. I knew the films were about the woman leaving, so it makes since to keep some mystery and watch Him before Her. Doing so allowed the film to answer questions are different times and felt like the best experience.

This only matters if you care about my recommendation of course. The best experience would just be Him and Her, no Them, because it is mostly repetitive. It sucks that I cannot wipe Him/Her from my memory before Them to give an unbiased review of it. But Them on its own didn’t feel like a great movie. Obviously I had the issues of it being full of scenes I had already seen (does that sound weird?), but it also cut out a lot of other scenes that I felt were necessary.

That’s right. Watching the condensed two hour version felt lacking. Shocking discovery, I know.

Them is Shit. Him and Her combined are a good experience. If you were going to watch just one of Him and Her, it won’t be good. It would just be odd and you don’t want to be odd.

Oh yeah, for whatever reason, the movies end differently. I have no idea why this happens, but Her has the best ending, in my ever so humble movie reviewer opinion.

Him and Her: 3 out of 4.

Them:1 out of 4.

Dead Man Down

If you had to say anything about Dead Man Down, you would say that it had guts. It came out the same weekend as Oz The Great and Powerful, meaning it must not actually care about the money. It must be an artsy film! Just watch the trailer, I actually want you to for once. Yeah, little bit artsy, doesn’t really give anything major away. I think the trailer is fantastic, beautiful music, and no annoying narrator.

But the last time I saw a kick ass, artsy, action movie trailer, Killing Them Softly happened.

Shit, Killing Them Softly had a car in it too. The similarities are endless!
From the trailer you would hear a few lines about deception, the loss of a family, and a traitor. This film definitely involves some of these keywords, but I just don’t want to fully describe it. Really, I went in knowing nothing, and felt like I probably enjoyed it more for that reason.

But here is some character information to not leave you completely in the dark. Beatrice (Noomi Rapace) used to be a beautician, but got into a car accident that severely messed up her face. It hurts to smile now, and its hard to make others feel pretty at that point, so her life is basically over. It sounds superficial, but you will get it. The man who hit her drunk driving only got three weeks in jail. She now lives with her going deaf mother (Isabelle Huppert) and is pretty mad.

Across the street lives, Victor (Colin Farrell), a secretive man. Secretive men have secretive pasts. He works for a local gang leader, Alphonse (Terrence Howard), who has been receiving death threats for over three months, and pictures of himself with his eyes crossed out. Kind of creepy. Victor joined about six months before this started, along with a fellow new recruit, Darcy (Dominic Cooper).

That sounds like a fine enough plot description for me, at least.

Oh, and the rats. Don’t forget to add the rats!
Holy character development, Batman!

Seriously, wow. It is almost like every character in the movie was treated like a real individual, and not a complete stereotype. Okay, sure, there were some stereotypical henchmen or bad guys, but even a few of them had their moments as well. Color me surprised.

Despite not being an action packed movie on its own, I would say it has enough to keep me interested. The acting for everyone involved was also great. Colin Farrell is getting a rep at being a box office bomb, but that’s just because Total Recall remake was bad, and for this movie, they went out against a juggernaut.

I fully recommend Dead Man Down, as I feel it is a complete movie experience. It is able to tell a realistic enough story, is not special effects driven, and has a great performance by everyone in the cast. There is a little bit of “supermanning” at the end of the film, but by then it is pretty worth it.

4 out of 4


Hooray hooray! I have finally got a chance to see Amour, the last movie I needed to see for all the Best Picture nominees this year. BEFORE the award, not several months after.

Plus, it is a foreign film, from Austria, in French!

I must be growing up. I am an adult now, watching adult movies, in adult speeds.

Num 1
Adults watch their form of adults (old people) do things, right?

Amour means love, but you knew that. Bitches love amour, and surely if it is about old people, we will get to see a wonderful, blossoming relationship despite their limiting factors. Crap. It could also go the other way. The super sad way.

Studies have shown that old people have a higher chance of dying soon, than say, teenagers. Are we going to see the end of a life, and how sad it is to lose someone you love? Especially if you lose them very very slowly? I should move the above picture ahead a few seconds just to check.

Num 2
Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no. Look at how sad she is! Fuck, we are in a drama folks! Prepare the ship! Tears are incoming!

Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant) have lived long and prosperous lives. They love music, and have helped musicians with sponsorships (Alexandre Tharaud). They are rich, for whatever reason, and live in luxury. They have a beautiful daughter, Eva (Isabelle Huppert), who is married with kids off in another part of Europe, and life is sweet.

But one morning, during a normal breakfast, Anne becomes unresponsive, just staring out into space, unable to respond to any sort of stimuli from her husband. Eventually she snaps out of it, but it still puts him into quite a scare and he takes her to the doctor. Something is blocking something else in her brain, and if they don’t take care of it, it could happen again but worse.

Well, the surgery goes wrong. A 5% chance, but now Anne finds it hard to walk, and she is forced to live in her own home, bound by a wheelchair. She might get better, or it might get worse. But you already know which way it is going to go.

She starts to move much slower, eventually half of her body gets paralyzed, and she becomes entirely bed ridden. The pain is unbearable, it causes her to scream out in pain throughout the day. She. Wants. To. Die.

But Georges can’t just let her kill herself, can he? The love of his life?

Num 3
Oh no! It just keeps zooming! I can’t stop, we have crashed straight into sad land!

Whew. That is all I can really say, just whew. I can also say that this film is perfect. I often dislike films for not being realistic enough, in terms of character actions and dialogue, but this one might be on the other extreme side of the scale. /Too real/ and not enough, I guess…entertainment? Even when I go to a drama, and even if it is sad and I cry my eyes out, I still expect to be entertained by the story.

But Amour doesn’t really let me do that. The scenes in this movie are quite long, so the acting was clearly there. But they are too long. They are too slow. Many minutes of watching the husband try and feed his halfway paralyzed wife. Despite feeling the feels that were given to me on the screen, I was still combating sleep the first half of the movie. It was just far too incredibly slow, perhaps perfectly mimicking the slow death of a loved one.

But again, the acting is incredible. If the Oscars are based on talent, I think Emmanuelle Riva wins the best Actress award. The things she did in that movie were incredible and honestly no one else came close to her sort of delivery.

2 out of 4.