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Tuesday Odds and Ends

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MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR SPOILERS: The film is about a middle-aged woman who is raped by a masked intruder and instead of going to the police tries to find her assailant on her own. While she’s sleuthing we learn she is having an affair with her best friend and business partner’s husband, has a fraught relationship with her mother, her son and his girlfriend, has a friendly but complicated relationship with her ex-husband, has the hots for her married neighbor, and that her father is a mass murderer.

When her assailant turns out to be the neighbor she fancies she decides to enter into a bizarre relationship with him, wherein he she lets him break into her house and “rape” her again. The last sexual encounter they have ends with her son discovering the “rape” and murdering the rapist. (He is a rapist, after all.) And we’re left wondering: did she set it up or did she just get unlucky?

Isabelle Huppert plays Michelle as extraordinarily “above it all.” She seems not to worry overmuch about being raped, about screwing over her best friend, about an intruder breaking into her home to masturbate on her bed, about anything, really. And I imagine we’re supposed to find this charming. You’ve never met a chill girl more chill than than this middle-aged girl. But while I found her plucky and sardonic and charming at times, I also found her just plain jerky at others. Maybe this was intentional! And maybe it’s ok for a woman character to be complex and jerky! In fact, I’ve advocated loudly for this in the past.* I’m just not sure this character was drawn with the care she should have been.

It’s a strange, strange movie and I’m still thinking about it. I don’t know if that’s because it was so good or because it was so bad.

 

  • *In my review of “Bridesmaids” I say that the movie “probably wasn’t the funniest movie ever made,” but in fact it’s one of the funniest movies of the past few decades and possibly ever. I’m owning this opinion.
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