"A Mind-Boggling, Twisted Game"

Content: -4 Gross immorality, and/or worldview problems.

What You Need To Know:

ELLE is a French movie about a video game producer, Michèle, who’s trying to sell her company’s latest creation. Not only must she deal with pushback from co-workers who resent her, she also must deal with the public shame of being a famous serial killer’s daughter. Those become the least of her worries when she’s attacked and raped by a masked man at home one day. She mysteriously keeps the incident a secret and is raped a second time. Then, the third time he tries, she pulls off his mask to reveal his identity, and a twisted game begins until things finally go too far.

In addition to keeping up with multiple storylines, viewers must read quickly as ELLE’s dialogue moves fast. Although over two hours long, the movie’s various twists help maintain interest. However, those twists are mostly abhorrent. ELLE is mainly about how sex can destroy relationships and violate people. Also, the only Christians are made out to be hypocritical and criminal. Morality takes a back seat to human pleasure in ELLE, though the rapist eventually is held to account.


(PaPa, B, C, AbAbAb, Ho, LL, VVV, SSS, NNN, AA, D, MMM) Some characters hold a godless worldview where their own pleasures come before any moral standards, evil is held accountable in the very end, the movie contains some Christian content such as several scenes depicting Christmas celebrations, a couple puts up a manger scene in their yard, a Catholic mass is shown on television, and a woman talks about her faith, but all the Christians are made out to be hypocritical and criminal, one character expresses her disdain for Catholic religious ceremonies, and one Christian is written to be a sex-obsessed rapist who cheats on his wife, plus some lesbian homosexual elements; 18 profanities and obscenities, women are referred to in offensive slang terms, male and female genitals are mentioned in slang terms a couple of times, a woman talks about her period; several graphic scenes depict a masked man breaking into a home and raping a woman, a woman is shown bleeding after a rape, a man is pepper sprayed in his face, a bird dies by flying into a window, and a cat tries to eat it, the story of a man who killed multiple people and animals is shown in documentary form, a mutilated body is shown in a body bag, a woman wrecks her car trying to avoid hitting a deer, a man’s hand is pierced by scissors, a man is hit over the head with a piece of wood and killed, it is revealed that an ex-husband used to hit his wife; multiple scenes depict a woman being raped with partial nudity, a woman is depicted performing a sex act on a man in the workplace, several scenes depict sex with partial nudity, several scenes imply sex, a video game depicts a monster having sex with a human female in several scenes, two women kiss and hint at their lesbian desire for one another, multiple characters have sexual relationships outside of marriage, two husbands cheat on their wives; one scene shows full frontal female nudity and multiple scenes depict male and female partial nudity; several scenes show drinking wine at meals, one scene shows a man passed out after drinking too much, a couple scenes mention characters “hitting the bottle”; one scene mentions a character who used to do marijuana; and, one woman lies about raped to cover it up, a man lies to his boss in order to cover up his sexual desire for her, a man sends out a graphic video of his boss to get revenge, a Christian wife knew about the rapes her husband was committing and allowed it so his desire could be fulfilled, multiple couples are depicted as divorced, a girlfriend lies to her boyfriend about being pregnant with his child, and baby turns out to be someone else’s, a son is disrespectful to his mother and calls her an offensive name.

More Detail:

n ELLE, a French movie, a successful video game producer tries to track down her rapist while juggling multiple affairs. Though ELLE keeps viewers guessing throughout most of the movie, the whole thing is a perverted expression of sex, marriage, family, and morality.

Set in France, the story focuses on Michèle Leblanc, the CEO of a gaming firm, as she tries to grapple with an unidentified rapist who repeatedly assaults her. It turns out that Michèle is surrounded by sex constantly. The video game her firm is working on features violent sex between monsters and humans, and, when it’s not kinky enough, she admonishes her design team, filled with a cadre of young gaming nerds. In fact, she’s out of place being as a woman approaching her sixties, and her opinions routinely clash with her subordinates.

All work and no play, however, makes Michèle a very dull girl. She thinks nothing of closing the drapes on her office windows for a little tryst with the husband of a co-worker and friend.

Coming home one evening, she’s unable to evade being treated like one of the characters in her game. A masked man forces his way into her house and rapes her. Though she puts up a fight, she refuses to report it, adopting the attitude of “what’s done is done.” Her neighbors across the street, devout Catholics, do eventually find out what happened, however. Patrick, the husband, offers to help keep watch, and the two realize there’s an attraction between them. However, Patrick flees the situation, seemingly unwilling to cheat on his wife or violate his faith. Meanwhile, Michèle purchases pepper spray and an ax to have on hand for protection.

As the rapist stalks and attacks her again, things subtly change from wanting to protect herself, to her turning it into a game of cat and mouse. She appears to get a thrill out of being assaulted and is eager to find out who the masked man is. Her first suspect is a co-worker who resents her authority and has a penchant for being less-than-gentle with women.

During another attack, Michèle is able to rip off the mask, and is shocked to find it’s the person she least expected. Although the man is caught, the game continues until it takes a deadly turn.

ELLE is a French movie based on the novel by Philippe Djian. The dialogue moves rapidly in some scenes, so slow readers may have trouble keeping up with the English subtitles. There are at least four different storylines, one of which is to bring levity to the otherwise dark film. Michèle’s grown son, Vincent, struggles with unexpectedly becoming a father, and refuses to believe that his newborn (which is a completely different ethnicity from him and his girlfriend) is not really his child. It is also revealed that Michèle is the daughter of a famous serial murderer and still suffers public humiliation as a result of her father’s crimes. These additional storylines are not really connected to the main plot, and unnecessarily make the movie about half an hour longer than it needs to be.

This movie is primarily about sex, how it can be used to destroy relationships, and how it can be used to satisfy kinks or violate a person physically. There are many disturbing scenes depicting rape, cheating on spouses, casual sex between unmarried partners, sex in the workplace, and even a token lesbian scene. The only Christians in the movie are made out to be hypocritical and criminal. Morality takes a back seat to human pleasure, though the rapist is held to account in the end.