Isabelle Huppert a wonder to watch perform? Nowhere that I can recall. Now, in the new film by Catherine Breillat entitled ABUSE OF WEAK-NESS, Ms Hupert is everything we've come to expect -- and even more. Here she is, as usual, moment-to-moment real and speci-fic and spellbinding. This time, there's an overlay to it all. She is playing a stroke victim who only in degrees wins back the use of her body, and even then, not completely. I'd call Huppert a revelation, except that she always is. Here, she is simply more so.
article of French law (L 122-8 in the Consumer Code, 223-15-2 in the Criminal Code) in which, if one person abuses another who is weak, sick, ignorant or what have you, s/he can be prosecuted. (We could certainly have used something like this in the USA, regarding those crap sub-prime loans from Countrywide and other mortgage lenders that helped bring down our economy, while cheating folk out of their abodes.)
Kool Shen, below), who, when we and Maud first see him, is chatting away on a TV talk show, telling tales of his time as a con man who cheated the rich out of millions and the poor out of whatever he could get. "This guy is perfect for the lead in my new film," says Maud, and soon they are meeting, and he is charming the director out of lots and lots of Euros.
Strand Releasing and running 105 minutes, Abuse of Weakness, opens this Friday, August 15, in New York City at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center. In Los Angeles, look for it at Laemmle's Royal, opening Aguust 22. Elsewhere? Hope so. In any case, as the distributor is Strand, we can eventually expect a DVD and perhaps streaming to various digital venues.