Elle Image


By Alan Ng | January 24, 2021

A teen is coming to grips with her feelings and much more in Asher Jelinsky and Nicole Vanden Broeck’s short film, Elle. Elle (Sarah Sawyer) helps her best friend, Samia (Ron Dadon), pack away her belongings as Samia is moving away. In a quiet moment, Samia pulls out some household items to seal their friendship with matching homemade tattoos. Later that evening, Samia’s boyfriend Tyler is bringing her friends over for one last goodbye.

“…pulls out some household items to seal their friendship with matching homemade tattoos.”

Elle is the story of an introvert who harbors romantic feelings for Samia but never expressed nor acted upon those feelings. Samia’s departure only heightens those feelings. Elle is now faced with that “now or never” scenario. Either Elle has to do something about her feelings or will be left standing alone wondering what might have been.

Director/ co-writer Nicole Vanden Broeck skillfully tells the narrative through non-verbal actions and intimate moments, which is how introverts often communicate. Elle never says how she feels and acts upon it in a quiet and isolated fashion at the most awkward time. The plot says so much about its lead character without ever saying anything and how we’re able to understand the million anxious thoughts rushing through Elle’s head thanks to Sarah Sawyer’s subtle performance. It’s this exercise in contrast that allows Elle to say so much with so little.

Elle (2020)

Directed: Nicole Vanden Broeck

Written: Asher Jelinsky, Nicole Vanden Broeck

Starring: Sarah Sawyer, Ron Dadon, etc.

Movie score: 7.5/10

Elle Image

"…tells the narrative through non-verbal actions and intimate moments..."

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