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France, Austria, Germany, 2001
Directed by Michael Haneke
Written by Michael Haneke
Based on the novel by
 Elfriede Jelinek
Starring Isabelle Huppert, Benoît Magimel, Annie Girardot, Susanne Lothar  
Approx. 131 min. DCP.

A study of female sexuality and the dynamics of control, adapted from the controversial book by Nobel Prize-winning playwright and novelist Jelinek. Huppert delivers an icy but quietly seething performance as a middle-aged piano professor at a Viennese conservatory who lives with her mother, in a claustrophobically codependent relationship. Severely repressed, she satisfies her masochistic urges only voyeuristically until she meets Magimel, a young student whose desire for Erika leads to a destructive infatuation that upsets the careful equilibrium of her life. A critical breakthrough for Haneke. Winner of the Grand Prix, as well as dual acting awards for its two stars, at Cannes.


“Huppert gives one of her greatest screen performances.”
– Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“Audaciously brilliant. A genuinely shocking work…seriously scandalous, beautifully made, and it deserves a sizeable audience that might argue over it, appreciate it – even hate it.”
– David Denby, The New Yorker

“A disconcertingly assured tango between tenderness and brutality.”
– Desson Thompson, Washington Post

Film Forum