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307 Ratings

Abuse of Weakness

Abus de faiblesse

Directed by Catherine Breillat
France, Germany, 2013


An extraordinary collaboration between two legends of French cinema, Catherine Breillat’s brutally candid autobiographical drama stars Isabelle Huppert as a stroke-afflicted filmmaker manipulated by a notorious con man.

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Abuse of Weakness Directed by Catherine Breillat

Awards & Festivals

Village Voice Film Poll

2014 | Nominee: Best Actress

Indiewire Critics' Poll

2013 | Nominee: Best Undistributed Film

It’s impossible to know whether Breillat considers this film an act of revenge. She has said that the day she first met Rocancourt was the worst day of her life. But after exorcising the experience in a novel and this film, it’s undeniable that she has regained the upper hand. Likely the most unnerving part of her brush with a career criminal was the dissolution of her sense of self, an identity she was able to partially rebuild by transforming her trauma into an object of cinema.
April 18, 2016
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You can practically sense Breillat standing outside of herself, recollecting a terribly painful period with staggering lucidity. It feels particularly on point when a wheelchair-bound Maud rolls through a hospital corridor right past Breillat herself, hobbling along with the aid of a nurse and a cane—a fictional analogue and her real-world counterpart passing each other like ships in the night.
December 09, 2015
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The movie can ultimately be read as a bizarre sort of anti-confession regarding the choices Breillat made, but it only works on that level if the viewer knows the relevant real-world backstory. Otherwise, it’s just some woman withdrawing her life savings from the bank and lighting the bills on fire for no reason.
August 21, 2014
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