Tine Byrckel) and directed by Malgoska Szumowska (shown at left), which is little more than a cheap tease. It pretends to deal with its subject while serving it up in the most obvious been-there, done-that manner, in which a journalist (Juliette Binoche, below), writing a piece on prostitution for Elle magazine (the movie certainly has all the depth of that publication), begins using her interviews as fodder for her own sexual fantasies. It fooled poor Piers Handling of the Toronto Film Fest into thinking that it was placing "female sexuality, in all its complexity, under a microscope," Hah. What we get is more the usual male sexual fantasies, served up by -- surprise -- women! I am sorry, but the fact that this movie was made by women lets no one off the hook for dishing out drivel.
golden shower that one of the clients offers his girl, from a discrete angle, of course. You also hope for a little richness or depth of character, but everything we see and hear, if you've witnessed a few films in your time, you could (and probably will) create in your head as the movie proceeds, doing a better job than have the filmmakers. Elles, I'm afraid, is cliché central.
zoftig Joanna Kulig, above) have parental problems? Check? Will mommy discover her daughter's dirty doings? Check. Does our journalist have issues with her hubby at home? Check. Will these surface most dramatically during the dinner party that husband has scheduled with his boss. Double check. And on and on. It's not that the acting isn't believable, the photography pretty to look at and the sexual activity pant-worthy. But it all adds up to a big fat nothing.
Anaïs Demoustier (above, from last year's Living On Love Alone) as the other of Binoche's interviews, and Louis-Do de Lencquesaing (Father of My Children) as her somewhat clueless hubby. A frustratingly empty exercise, which for some may provide a turn-on (hell, use your imagination and have more fun), Elles, unrated, opens this Friday, April 27, in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City, St. Louis and Washington DC -- with many other cities to follow in the weeks to come. For all currently scheduled playdates, cities and theaters, click here -- then scroll down.