Directed by Małgorzata Szumowska • Drama • With Juliette Binoche, Anaïs Demoustier, Joanna Kulig • 2011 • 99 minutes
A provocative and raw exploration of female sexuality, director Malgoska Szumowska's ELLES paints an unromantic picture of upper-crust domesticity refracted through the vibrant eroticism of prostitution.
Vacillating between opposing worlds defined alternatively by sexual freedom and constraint, ELLES stars the fearless Juliette Binoche (Chocolat) as Anne, a well-off Parisian journalist investigating the lives of two student prostitutes (Joanna Kulig and Anaïs Demoustier) for a magazine article. What begins as a routine assignment shaped by preconceived notions quickly turns personal, as Anne is drawn into the lives of these fiercely independent young women and forced to confront her own sexual fears and desires.
A bold examination of poverty and privilege, age and youth, ELLES draws into question the loneliness, sterility, and isolation that plague marital life and stifle sensuality.