November 11, 2014

Abuse of Weakness (2013)

Abuse of Weakness (2013) - Movie Review
Directed by: Catherine Breillat
Country: France / others

Movie Review: Breillat’s bold cinema always has something pertinent to say and is not always pleasing to watch. That’s exactly what we can expect from “Abuse of Weakness”, a semi-autobiographical work, that is simply a bitter tale of obsession and loneliness. Isabelle Huppert gives a tour-de-force performance in the role of Maud, a cult filmmaker who debates herself to recover from a stroke that almost took her life away. Her convalescence went better than expected, and despite impaired from the left arm, Maud was capable to return to her new film. While watching a TV interview with Vilko (Kool Shen), a crook who served twelve years in jail for tricking both rich and poor, she decides to offer him the main role in her next movie. Becoming fascinated with his arrogance and insolence, and more and more dependant of his companionship, Maud starts to endorse him checks with large sums of money. Vilko, spends the money with his wife and kid, gambling, and in his secretive private life, while Maud sinks herself in debt. However, she never loses face, or tries to change her sarcastic, unaffecting and contemptuous tones and behaviors. Regardless her threatening illness, this film is mostly about money, greediness, and manipulation of people in order to satisfy needs and whims. There’s plenty of craziness in this episode, and the ending confirms exactly that, when confronted with her children’s questions, Maud states: ‘it was me... but it wasn’t me’. The usual efficiency and control in Breillat’s direction, places “Abuse of Weakness” in the list of complex real-story films to watch.

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