8 Women (2002)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBB.5

Original title:  8 Femmes

France/Italy, 2002.  , , , , , , , .  Screenplay by Francois Ozon, , based on the play by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Take a Hercule Poirot mystery, cast France’s eight most beautiful and talented women, throw in a selection of popular French tunes from the fifties and sixties, and photograph it a la Douglas Sirk in queasy-bright colour, and you have Francois Ozon’s latest delightful satire. Catherine Deneuve returns to her picture-perfect mansion with her college student daughter (), only to discover that her husband has been murdered in his bed.  The phones have been cut off, the gates to the estate locked and the car has been vandalized, leaving eight women trapped in a house where no one knows who did it! Also suspect are Deneuve’s spinster sister (a hilarious Isabelle Huppert), her alcoholic mother (, who also played Deneuve’s mother in The Young Girls of Rochefort), her other daughter (), her cook (), her sexy cabaret-singer sister-in-law () and her sex-kitten maid (). The secrets that are revealed throughout their investigation of the crime are at turns hilarious, ridiculous and sometimes very moving. Exceptionally well done, and the tuneful songs will bounce around in your head for days.

Berlin Film Festival Award:  Outstanding Artistic Contribution to the ensemble cast

European Film Award:  Best European Actress (Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Béart, Fanny Ardant, Virginie Ledoyen, Danielle Darrieux, Ludivine Sagnier, Firmine Richard)
Nominations: Best European Film; Best European Screenwriter

Toronto International Film Festival: 2002

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