Paul Verhoeven’s Elle (2016) is probably the hardest movie we’ve had to talk about. It is a complex movie with very heavy subject matter. It’s a challenge to define the characters and their motives and confidently as the movie presents itself. But we knew it was a movie we had to get out of our system somehow. For my mother especially it was a major experience that ended helping her with her own life.

In our talk we, among other topics, try our luck with analysing the characters and events, share thoughts on Paul Verhoeven and Isabelle Huppert and at the end I describe to my mother a fan theory that could turn the whole movie upside down.


  • [00:50] – The beginnings of the production
  • [04:50] – Reversing expectations and character analysis
  • [10:50] – Relevance to discussion about rape culture
  • [17:20] – Catholic details
  • [19:50] – Paul Verhoeven’s career and history
  • [31:50] – How the movie helped Liisa
  • [36:20] – Back to analysing the characters and themes
  • [47:20] – Isabelle Huppert
  • [50:50] – The fan theory

Movies We Mention

  • Turkish Delight
  • Soldier of Orange
  • The 4th Man
  • Basic Instinct
  • Black Book
  • Robocop
  • Starship Troopers