French Film on Controversial Subject of Rape Is Surprise Golden Globe Winner
by Dwight Casimere
Isabelle Huppert accepting the Golden Globe for Best Dramatic Actress
Isabelle Huppert with Elle director Paul Verhoeven at the New York Film Festival
Photo by Dwight Casimere
Director Paul Verhoeven also won a Golden Globe for Director of the Best Foreign Film
Among the biggest surprises of the night at the Golden Globes was Isabelle Huppert’s win in the category of actress in a motion picture, drama for her role in the provocative thriller “Elle.” The French actress beat out competition from Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Ruth Negga and Natalie Portman. Director Paul Verhoeven also won a Golden Globe for Director of the Best Foreign Film. The film has largely been snubbed by Hollywood because of its controversial subject of violent rape.
With a career that now stretches back more than 40 years, Huppert is widely recognized as one of the most formidable screen presences in the world, able to convey steely conviction, sensual ambiguity and a broken fragility in equal measure. Yet she had never before been nominated for a Golden Globe.
She made her reputation as a go-to actress for high-profile European filmmakers such as Bertrand Blier, Jean-Luc Godard, Claude Chabrol and Michael Haneke. Arguably her best-known role up to now was in Haneke’s 2001 film “The Piano Teacher,” for which she won best actress at the Cannes Film Festival. She made her English-language debut in Michael Cimino’s ill-fated 1980 epic “Heaven’s Gate.”