Monday, June 13, 2011
8 Women (8 Femmes) -- Secrets and their Impact
Director: François Ozon, 2002. (R)
8 Women could be pointing to the “who’s who” of French actresses who comprise the cast. Topped by Catherine Deneuve (A Christmas Tale), possibly the greatest living French actress, she is joined by Isabelle Huppert (Thank You for the Chocolate), Fanny Ardant and Emmanuelle Beart to name just a few. In fact, though, the 8 women are the suspects in a murder in this French musical murder-mystery.
It is Christmas in the snowy French countryside in the 1950s. As a family gathers together to celebrate the holiday, the patriarch, a wealthy industrialist is discovered murdered in his bedroom. Seven women are together in the living room and one other joins them. Any one of them could be the murderer. It could be his wife Gaby (Deneuve), his two daughters Suzon (Virginie Ledoyen) and Catherine (Ludivine Sagnier), his neurotic and spinsterly sister-in-law Augustine (Huppert), his greedy and miserly mother-in-law Mamy (Danielle Darrieux), his floozy sister Pierrette (Ardant), his loyal cook Chanel (Firmine Richard) or his new sexy maid Louise (Beart). Each has a motive. Each has a secret.
When they find the phone line has been cut, the car has been damaged and the gate has been blocked, they realize they are isolated in the house and one of them is the killer. But which is it? As the film progresses, their secrets are revealed, shocking each other and showing there is more to each one than meets the eye.