The 41st Annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is set for September 8th through the 18th and will showcase nearly 300 films from around the world. From documentaries to horror films, TIFF will be the center of the entertainment universe and Intestinal Fortitude will be there to soak in the adventures and stories that unfold on the big screens in Canada’s largest metropolis.
But before the red carpets are vacuumed, the celebrities arrive with their entourages and the city transforms into a star-gazing mecca we will take time to focus on a new film every day that will be showcased at the festival.
Today’s Spotlight: Elle
Just seeing the name Paul Verhoeven attached to a film makes me smile. Sure, his films are generally sexy, sultry and largely pieces of heaped garbage. But they are oh so interesting. Verhoeven was THE guy for me growing up. His earlier films, Flesh + Blood, Robocop, Total Recall, Basic Instinct and Starship Troopers brought me to the theatre on countless occasions for repeat viewings. He’s been a little quieter as of late. He hasn’t directed a film in 4 years and has only three films under his belt since we welcomed in Y2K. But Verhoeven is back to his disturbing best with his new entry, Elle, that will have its North American Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
Elle stars Isabelle Huppert as Michelle, a CEO who is savagely beaten and raped in her home. Michelle seems to take it all in stride. She cleans up, changes the locks and goes back to work as if the attack never took place. As time passes, Michelle begins to fantasize about the assault and her attacker’s return. While dealing with family and life struggles around every corner, Michelle is as conflicted as she is complex on how she handles life in the wake of her abuse.
Michele Maheux writes, “Based on Phillip Djian’s acclaimed novel Oh…., Verhoeven’s first French-language film may be his greatest achievement yet. It plays like an object lesson in suspense and thematic density. Not a moment is wasted, not a word or glance is without consequence. Subplots develop in tandem, only gradually revealing their subtle links with the central narrative thread. And they all converge on Michele, one of the most powerful and fearless creations of Huppert’s stunning career.”
Elle has its North American Premiere on Friday, September 9th at 5:30PM at the Elgin Theatre and then repeats again on Saturday, September 10th at 9AM at the TIFF Lightbox.