Abuse of Weakness (2013)
Directed and written by Catherine Breillat
Produced by Jean-Fran├žois Lepetit, Jesus Gonzalez-Elvira, Nadia Khamlichi, Adrian Politowski, Nicolas Steil, Gilles Waterkeyn
Starring Isabelle Huppert, Kool Shen, Laurence Ursino, Christophe Sermet
Compulsion trumps cognizance when a veteran director (Huppert) incapacitated by ictus relinquishes a small fortune intended to fund her forthcoming production to an infamous grifter (Shen) who she’s cast in a bloody lead role in exchange for his repellent consort. Breillat’s bamboozlement by celebrity swindler Christophe Rocancourt enkindled first her roman a clef afore this adaptation in abidance of her entrenched autobiographical proclivities, and seems as much an explication as a depiction of her muddled credulity whilst disabled. Once again, she’s exploited her recherche knack for casting an experienced, masterly histrion opposite a talented amateur as leads to tremendous eclat: Huppert perfectly realizes the throes of cerebrovascular and epileptic seizure (and all their debilitating attendant symptoms) with no less conviction than Breillat’s caustic humor in barbed chaff with Shen’s loathsome, calculatedly prickly fraud, whose noxious taste and apparently fatuous comportment serve to brace the dissemblance of his practiced guile. Huppert’s as identifiable as any of the anterior actresses Breillat’s selected to play her similitudes (Alexandra, Laffin, Parillaud, et al.) but her co-star’s portrayal courts condign calumniation: nobody could reasonably confound glib, handsome Rocancourt with the comparatively crude confidence man personated by pug-ugly Shen. If it isn’t an entirely satisfactory revenge, Breillat’s still devised graphically penetrative pictures of her maladies, the oddly platonic infatuation by which she was mulcted, and the maladjusted victim complicit in her own ruination.

2 thoughts on “Palatable: Abuse of Weakness

  1. Hello Robert:

    glad to catch your blog for the first time [me] and for you to write it the third time.

    "Compulsion trumps cognisance" – isn't that always the way?

    Ictus – that would be an epileptic seizure or in phase.

    "Muddled credulity whilst disabled".

    Make sure recherche has its accents.

    "Courts condign calumniation" – I like this!

    I do know Rocancourt + Shen.


  2. Hi, Adelaide! I often omit accents in loanwords, though I really oughtn't. Anyhow, I'm pleased that you enjoyed this. Mulct is one of superabundant synonyms for cheat, chicane, swindle, hornswoggle, gazump, etc.

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