Elles Foreign/Art House
"Elles" tells the story of Anne, played with fearless vulnerability by Binoche, a sophisticated Parisian socialite and mother of two who works as an investigative journalist for Elle Magazine. As Anne uncovers the world of student prostitution for her latest assignment, she develops intimate friendships with her subjects, Alicja, played by the luminous Polish starlet Joanna Kulig, and Charlotte, played by the striking French actress Anais Demoustier ("Time of the Wolf"). The two young women finance their university studies – and their escape from poverty – by moonlighting as sex workers to bourgeois married men. When Anne begins to gain a deeper understanding of her subjects’ precarious liaisons and their motivations on both sides, she falls into a thrilling and fearsome rabbit hole of self-inquiry about her most sacred convictions regarding money, sex, family and her own identity. Szumowska probes the dark and controversial sexual recesses of contemporary society, alternating scenes of deviance with the charming, naturalistic flow of Binoche’s grounding and complex portrayal of a modern matriarch, marking her as a significant new directorial voice.