Abuse of Weakness

2013 [FRENCH]


Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 55%
IMDb Rating 5.9 10 1109

woman director

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May 13, 2022 at 02:37 PM

953.7 MB
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24 fps
1 hr 43 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by paul_imseih 9 / 10

An extraordinarily subtle and ultimately devastating film....

Having just watched this film at the Melbourne Film Festival where Breillat introduced the film, I can say that it is the most approachable and moving film she has made in recent memory.

While the film reduces Breillat's usual focus on sexuality and sexual power, it more than makes up for in its humane but disturbing focus on other power elements in relationships within and across modern bourgeois families and those classes below. I think that too few reviewers miss the class critique presented by Breillat but it is there and adds a whole new layer of significance to this film.

Basing the story on her own real-life experience of being defrauded by a major con, this autobiographical account of sudden disability from stroke and the manipulative strangers who take advantage of her sets up an austere, quietly unsettling premise as a platform for Isabelle Huppert's extraordinary performance as Breillat's alter-ego, Maud.

Whereas Breillat's previous films sometimes fail in her use of non-professional actors lacking range or depth of performance, Huppert fills this role with a technical brilliance and emotional and intellectual depth that allows the viewer to gain some hold on the rationale behind a woman's almost willing complicity in a swindling of which she is the unfortunate target. The word "victim" hardly seems appropriate here. Breillat and Huppert are reaching for something else.

You'll need to see the film to reach your own conclusion of this elusive "something else". It's enough to say that the film remains gripping throughout and thoroughly watchable, not least for the shimmering, alchemical performance by Huppert who is at the height of her powers in this performance.

Reviewed by christopher-underwood 7 / 10

A most uncomfortable watch

This was always going to be a problem for me. Not because it was a movie directed by Catherine Breillat and likely to be provocative and thought provoking and most certainly not because the star was Isabelle Huppert. My problem stems from the nature of the con man. And not even a problem with his actions but with those of the conned. Very few poor people get conned, what is the point? No, it is the rich, those with substantial monies. And a sense of greed. So, this film being based upon the real and terrible tale of Breillat falling for this crook and proceeding to passover hundreds of thousands is not for me a happy watch. it is well done and worth seeing if only for the most fantastic and convincing performance of Huppert. She is always good but here playing the besotted and paralysed 'unfortunate' who gets completely rolled over as she ignores friends and family, she is sensational. A most uncomfortable watch.

Reviewed by sergelamarche 7 / 10

Wanting to lose

Isabelle Huppert is really extraordinary. The film is not quite the con story we think. The defraudee liked the defrauder and wanted the attention. Money was losing significance. And she wanted to prove she was better than other defraudees by not being defrauded. She was fleeced but had the feelings she wanted, she played with the defrauder. And he played with her.

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