Elle

Elle

There are few films that I have seen that are as disturbing as Elle. Yet is it also a wonderful movie that I’d encourage anyone (over 16) to see. Arguably this is one of the most reflective tales of the current societal state of disassociation, but reduced to the sketches of the personal life of Michele Leblanc (Isabelle Huppert). I might go a little further to suggest that there is arguably a little too much thrown into the film, but that all rather depends on how you interpret.

Make no mistake, this is a traumatic movie. It begins with a rape scene which sets the story in motion and how the viewer reacts to this and the subsequent information. The setting of a severely dysfunctional family provides the context for the series of choices that emerge. There is no attempt to explain or pacify the viewer. This is a harsh, brutal look at “real life” and contemporary life.

A day of signficant trauma

I am conscious of tension that I really don’t want to spoil the film for you, yet wish to convey some of the plot. What is explained is that Michele is the daughter of a devout Catholic man who had managed to repress some of horrific feelings, which are then released in a day of carnage in her childhood and her mass murdering father is imprisoned. There are no explanations or justifications. What follows is assumed to be built upon the backlash of hatred towards the family. It is this trauma upon which Michele gradually builds her life. Relationships are inevitably strained and detached.

This virtual reality

In many respects, what we accept as normal, or ordinary without a questioning mind can leave us all somewhat detached from reality. It also leaves us poorer within a context that could be so much better. This is not a film about victim mentality, but of passive, detached voyeurism. Whether that be the obviously disturbing video game violence or the inability to value relationship. A religious persona that masks deep violence and crime against other. A simple a lack of honesty or inability to take responsibility, all the while soothed by a plethora of cute cat videos and nice cars. We are the sum of our choices.

The sum of your choices

So, what on earth has this to do with financial planning? I would argue that your choices are significant. A choice to do nothing is still a choice. People worry about money, but do little to address those concerns, making the choice to defer, to delay. Time is against us. It is the one resource that we all have equally today. The choices you are making compound into a result. Financial planning provides the space and opportunity for you to reflect on what you genuinely value, to challenge your own thinking and the narrative of our consumer culture. However, we all have a past, some have experienced awful traumas, this needs to be addressed if a better future is to be created. We all have limitations, but almost all have unlimited desires. A sense of peace and direction can be achieved when these are identified thoughtfully and respectfully.

The lubricant of modern life

Many people are detached from their finances, seeing them merely as a necessary lubricant for getting through life. Yet finance is active, we invest globally. We know the power of money and the pain of not having enough. Money can be violent or it can bring respite and relief. Somehow a healthy balanced view towards money needs to be constructed by each of us, which can act as the map to get us where we really want to be. In short, to be engaged with your finances, your financial plan needs to reflect your values – the real ones, some of which may be painful.

Here is the trailer for this very good, but disturbing movie, which has collected several awards and for which Isabelle Huppert is nominated for an Oscar as Best Leading Actress.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Elle2023-12-01T12:18:43+00:00

Loving and not so loving

Loving

Yet another example of how times have changed – thankfully. The new film “Loving” is the true story of Richard (Joel Edgerton) and Mildred Loving (Ruth Negga). White man falls in love with black woman and marry in 1958, but not recognised within their own state of Virginia. Hard to believe that it was not even 60 years ago, yet thankfully seems a lifetime and world away from where we are today.

Or not so loving…

This is an ordinary couple, with an ordinary story, except for their determination to fight for what they believe to be right. Their surname is, of course, perfect for their story and perfect backdrop for its opponent, the State of Virginia.

A lifetime ago

60 Years ago, not that long ago really is it. Of course it’s a lifetime ago. Certainly, in lifetime financial planning terms these days that would be the rough timeframe we use for clients in their 40’s. Lots of people will be celebrating their sixtieth birthdays this year, people like Jo Brand, Robin Cousins, Steve Davis, Fern Britton, Paul Merton, Jayne Torvill, Dawn French, Billy Bragg and Stephen Fry to name just a few. It may interest you to recall the BBC TV news programme called Nationwide, which aired its infamous April Fool joke about Spaghetti growing on trees… was aired in 1957. Fake news is clearly not new.

Tempus Fugit

In short, time passes quickly. You cannot really put your financial planning on pause. Life moves on, rules change, economically, socially and environmentally. Change is our constant and whilst often feared, is generally our friend – except when it comes to deteriorating health.

Not always happy, shiny people…

The problem I have with some financial planners and supposed gurus within our field is that whilst they mean well, the future is uncertain. However adept they are at cashflow planning and deep-diving on your personal values and goals, life isn’t always a neat straight-line. Sometimes, horrible stuff happens, like an uninvited thug turning up in your bedroom in the dead of night. Health can fade, as can memory and the real problem is if everything is as it is today. Now. It is in the darker moments that a great financial plan will be tested. Your concern is unlikely to be about your next holiday or where to moor your yacht.

A New Rising Star

At 35, Ruth Negga, was nominated at the BAFTAs for the 2017 Rising Star Award and is nominated for an OSCAR as leading actress for this film “Loving”. She is great in the movie, though will have tough competition with Isabelle Huppert, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep and Natalie Portman. Anyhow, if Ruth Negga were a client (do get in touch if you are keen), then we would likely consider a 65-year time horizon for her financial plan. That is a long time. So much can change. She’s a talented actress and I hope that she has plenty of opportunity to get some good roles (there are woefully few for women). Yet her future is no more or less certain than anyone else’s. This is precisely why it is vital to review your financial planning regularly – and clients know we do this annually. Checking our assumptions and progress towards the future you are creating. Little remains unchanged, which based on history, is a rather good thing.

Anyway, here is the trailer for Loving. I gave it 7/10, shot and acted beautifully, some great lines, but it felt a little slow.

Dominic Thomas
Solomons IFA

You can read more articles about Pensions, Wealth Management, Retirement, Investments, Financial Planning and Estate Planning on my blog which gets updated every week. If you would like to talk to me about your personal wealth planning and how we can make you stay wealthier for longer then please get in touch by calling 08000 736 273 or email info@solomonsifa.co.uk

Loving and not so loving2023-12-01T12:18:44+00:00
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