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Publication: The Stranger
Author: Mudede, Charles
Date published: May 16, 2012


As a film about the realities of sex work in present-day Paris, Elles stumbles. The director/ writer Malgorzata Szumowska, a Pole, contributes almost no new information about the current condition of "the world's oldest profession" and avoids examining the ugly side of this profession with any depth. So why is it worth seeing? Because the cinematography, lighting, editing, and two performances (Juliette Binoche as a reporter working on a story about two students/sex workers, and Joanna Kulig as one of those students/sex workers) reach the region of great cinema. In fact, it's the ordinary moments, rather than the graphic sex scenes, that are riveting. (CHARLES MUDEDE)

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