3 user 45 critic

Abuse of Weakness (2013)

Abus de faiblesse (original title)
Unrated | | Drama | 12 February 2014 (France)
1:51 | Trailer
A stroke-afflicted filmmaker is manipulated by a notorious con man.


Catherine Breillat
4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Isabelle Huppert ... Maud
Kool Shen Kool Shen ... Vilko
Laurence Ursino ... Andy
Christophe Sermet Christophe Sermet ... Ezzé
Ronald Leclercq Ronald Leclercq ... Gino
Fred Lebelge Fred Lebelge ... Présentateur TV
Tristan Schotte Tristan Schotte ... Antoine
Daphné Baiwir ... Hortense (as Daphné Baïwir)
Dimitri Tomsej Dimitri Tomsej ... Louis
Nicolas Steil Nicolas Steil ... Père de Louis
Jean-François Lepetit Jean-François Lepetit ... Jean-Paul
Marc De Bodin De Galembert Marc De Bodin De Galembert ... Avocat
Patrick Van Ackere Patrick Van Ackere ... Kiné
François Stockmans François Stockmans ... Professeur
Valérie Chavet Valérie Chavet ... Orthophoniste


A stroke-afflicted filmmaker is manipulated by a notorious con man.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




Unrated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Catherine Breillat: plays a woman in physical therapy who Maud passes by in her wheelchair. See more »


[first lines]
Emergency Operator: Hello, yes.
Maud Shainberg: Hello. I need an ambulance.
Emergency Operator: I'm listening.
Maud Shainberg: Half my body is dead.
Emergency Operator: You're talking, so you can't be dead.
Maud Shainberg: No, I'm not dead. I'm calling for help.
Emergency Operator: Lady?
See more »


References Feuerreiter (1998) See more »

User Reviews

An extraordinarily subtle and ultimately devastating film....
7 August 2014 | by paul_imseihSee all my reviews

Having just watched this film at the Melbourne Film Festival where Breillat introduced the film, I can say that it is the most approachable and moving film she has made in recent memory.

While the film reduces Breillat's usual focus on sexuality and sexual power, it more than makes up for in its humane but disturbing focus on other power elements in relationships within and across modern bourgeois families and those classes below. I think that too few reviewers miss the class critique presented by Breillat but it is there and adds a whole new layer of significance to this film.

Basing the story on her own real-life experience of being defrauded by a major con, this autobiographical account of sudden disability from stroke and the manipulative strangers who take advantage of her sets up an austere, quietly unsettling premise as a platform for Isabelle Huppert's extraordinary performance as Breillat's alter-ego, Maud.

Whereas Breillat's previous films sometimes fail in her use of non-professional actors lacking range or depth of performance, Huppert fills this role with a technical brilliance and emotional and intellectual depth that allows the viewer to gain some hold on the rationale behind a woman's almost willing complicity in a swindling of which she is the unfortunate target. The word "victim" hardly seems appropriate here. Breillat and Huppert are reaching for something else.

You'll need to see the film to reach your own conclusion of this elusive "something else". It's enough to say that the film remains gripping throughout and thoroughly watchable, not least for the shimmering, alchemical performance by Huppert who is at the height of her powers in this performance.

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France | Belgium | Germany



Release Date:

12 February 2014 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Abuse of Weakness See more »

Filming Locations:

Belgium See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,140, 17 August 2014

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby SR



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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