Sony co-presidents Michael Barker and Tom Bernard, with Cannes raves behind them, have booked “Elle” for November 11, smack in the middle of awards season. Will France submit Verhoeven’s first French-language film?
Maybe yes, maybe no. But it doesn’t matter. The movie is Verhoeven’s best in years and in any case, Huppert has a shot at a Best Actress Oscar nomination.
She doesn’t miss a beat. She doesn’t call the cops. She changes the locks, gets an STD test, buys pepper spray and learns how to use a gun. She’s a sophisticated, elegant, powerful, modern woman who lives alone, runs her own company, manipulates her family, has sex with whomever she fancies, and is free to do as she pleases.
Typically, Verhoeven refuses to supply psychological underpinnings for what she does. But Huppert makes us believe. With critics and awards-savvy SPC behind it, this commercial movie could wind up a North American hit this fall.
“Elle” will open a week ahead of Tom Ford’s “Nocturnal Animals,” which Focus Features will release November 18. At $20 million, the project was the biggest acquisition of Cannes 2015.
Ford adapted the thriller from Austin Wright’s 1993 novel; it stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Amy Adams, and it’s produced by George Clooney’s Smoke House Pictures. The film wrapped production last December; it’s expected to expand its release on November 23 and go wide December 9.