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      Abuse of Weakness

      2013 1h 45m Drama List
      86% Tomatometer 35 Reviews 52% Audience Score 250+ Ratings A charismatic con artist becomes close to Maud, a famous director, after she has a stroke. He makes her feel alive again, and she lets him borrow huge sums of money. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Rent Now

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      Abuse of Weakness

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      Critics Consensus

      Abuse of Weakness' fact-based plot proves that truth can be stranger than fiction -- and provide grist for compelling character studies.

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      Critics Reviews

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      Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle "Abuse of Weakness" is 20 minutes of a great movie and another 85 minutes of nothing much. Rated: 2/4 Oct 2, 2014 Full Review Jonathan Romney Film Comment Magazine Shot with clean, spare simplicity by the Dardennes' regular DP Alain Marcoen, this is a very simple work, almost prosaically so at times-as if Breillat wanted to purge the film of anything that wasn't strictly to the point. Sep 15, 2014 Full Review Sheri Linden Los Angeles Times With clinical dispassion and narrative elegance, Breillat has constructed what she calls "a thriller about denial." Aug 22, 2014 Full Review Dustin Chang Floating World Abuse of Weakness is endlessly fascinating and delicious and features the most fearless, complex performance of the year by Huppert. Feb 21, 2021 Full Review Nicholas Bell What supersedes all aspects of both the film's origination and directorial intent is another fascinating performance from Isabelle Huppert. Aug 30, 2019 Full Review C.J. Prince Way Too Indie It's a paradoxical statement, but as Abuse of Weakness shows, it's a contradiction well worth exploring. Rated: 7/10 Jun 18, 2019 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Rita E You've seen this dozens of times on Dr. Phil. Save the money, watch Dr. Phil. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 09/28/23 Full Review Helder F This a movie of a director -Maud- who has a stroke, which renders her with a substantial motor deficit to her left side. After her stroke she continues with her career goals, preparing to direct her new movie, when she decides to cast a crook to star her movie. Up to this point the movie is understandable. Afterward the movie is just plain and lifeless. The movie becomes for the remainder almost 90 minutes a series of boring and lifeless conversations between the two, with him clearly stealing from her and with her apathetic. I ended up fast- forwarding to the end just to see the same apathetic attitude on her. I understand this is supposed to reflect a true story. But we never watch the story unfold. We watch a traumatized account of what happened. It shows how one feels that the story unfolded. In other words, the movie tells a story how the protagonist believed it happened - in a dissociative manner after the trauma - but surely not how the story did unfold. And that's why the boring becomes so lifeless - because it's so emotionless/ guarded -a reaction post trauma. Well, great acting wasted on such a terrible script. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 04/14/23 Full Review Serge L Isabelle Huppert is really extraordinary. The film is not quite the con story we think. The defraudee liked the defrauder and wanted the attention. Money was losing significance. And she wanted to prove she was better than other defraudees by not being defrauded. She was fleeced but had the feelings she wanted, she played with the defrauder. And he played with her. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 12/26/20 Full Review Audience Member A truly fascinating and realistic character study of a tough woman dealing with the impact of a stroke on her abilities. The three things that make this film work are 1. Isabelle Huppert's flawless work and charisma, 2. It is loosely based on Breillat's own experience and, 3. It presents a altogether surprising view of a con-artist conning a woman who almost seems to want him to push her to the level of life that most terrifies her. An audacious study of helplessness, manipulation and survival. We may not like either character, but Maud is one character that is fascinating to watch. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/22/23 Full Review Audience Member A wasted opportunity. This film has important things to say, but leaves most of them to the end. Leading up to that seems like a rather vapid, long vanity piece for Huppert. Just because she is an actor who moves her face little, is not a reason to make the audience look at her in interminable closeup, as if we otherwise wouldn't see what she is doing. Problems with continuity and editing, particularly in the depiction of the disability, risk mocking it. At one point Maud loses control of her body, can barely move her legs, then immediately lies on her back and kicks the hell out of her concrete bunker style door. Really? There are pointlessly offensive scenes: a senile old woman is insulted about her incontinence, and a very real-looking baby is shaken for a long time - the callousness of the characters who do these things was lost because the scenes are dreadful. The prevailing emotional climate in the film is cold, as are the production values. The festival audience was perceptibly annoyed and frustrated with the film and it risks being viewed as time and money thrown away, which is a pity, because its issues of need and exploitation, and the power of people with disability to make their own decisions, are worthy ones for the cinema. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 02/15/23 Full Review Audience Member Starts and ends in the same place and goes nowhere in between. Rated 2 out of 5 stars 01/25/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Abuse of Weakness

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis A charismatic con artist becomes close to Maud, a famous director, after she has a stroke. He makes her feel alive again, and she lets him borrow huge sums of money.
      Catherine Breillat
      Jesus Gonzalez-Elvira, Jean-François Lepetit, Nicolas Steil
      Catherine Breillat
      Original Language
      French (Canada)
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Feb 10, 2015
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      1h 45m
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