HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Nobody
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Duel to the Death
Mandibles
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands
Yakuza Princess
Djinn, The
New Order
Triggered
Claw
Original Cast Album: Company
Martyrs Lane
Paper Tigers, The
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Hall
ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt, The
Collini Case, The
Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard
Snake Girl and the Silver-Haired Witch, The
Superhost
Plan A
When I'm a Moth
Tigers Are Not Afraid
Misha and the Wolves
Yellow Cat
Shorta
Knocking
Bloodthirsty
When the Screaming Starts
Sweetie, You Won't Believe It
Lions Love
Demonic
Night Drive
Luca
Prospect
Toll, The
Last Bus, The
Purple Sea
Pebble and the Boy, The
Mosquito State
   
 
Newest Articles
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Potiche Lady Boss
Year: 2010
Director: François Ozon
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini, Karin Viard, Judith Godrèche, Jérémie Renier, Sergi López, Évelyne Dandry, Bruno Lochet, Elodie Frégé, Gautier About, Jean-Baptiste Shelmerdine, Noam Charlier, Martin De Myttenaere, Yannick Schmitz
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: The year is 1977 and in this rural French town there is trouble at the local umbrella factory where the union is complaining about the treatment they receive at the hands of their boss, Mr Pujol (Fabrice Luchini). But his wife Suzanne (Catherine Deneuve) doesn't allow that to bother her, and this morning she returns from her morning jog where she regularly communes with the wildlife to make her husband breakfast, their staff being off to attend a wedding in Portugal. Pujol is not happy about that - but then he's not happy about Suzanne doing anything much.

Deneuve had had dealings with umbrellas before, of course, in the classic musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, but where that had been the source of heartbreak, Potiche found her with a far more constructive attitude to a life that could have been relegated to the decorative rather than the useful. A potiche in French is a trophy wife, but while Suzanne had lived up to that point in that empty role, she finds that she can contribute to society in a far more hands-on capacity when she has to step up to taking care of business, literally, improving her family's lot into the bargain.

That business being the one her father left her, and Pujol married her to take over, effectively wedding her fortune rather than being wholly interested, or even in love, with Suzanne in the first place. Director François Ozon, adapting a popular play, had his comedy hat on (presumably a suave trilby or something), though he still employed his trademark soap opera dynamics in the plot, and the balance between sending that up and presenting them with utmost sincerity. Therefore Potiche may have been ostensibly a way to tickle the funny bone, but Ozon also brought his social commentary to bear on a character who embodied, for him, the feminism that brightened the lives of the most unlikely women.

Previous to this, the subject of union disputes was not one which blessed the cinema with its funniest comedies, making the true predecessor of this probably Carry On At Your Convenience, though Potiche was somewhat more sophisticated. Deneuve was in her element, no longer the ice maiden she could often lapse into but an endearing woman in late middle age who finds her taken for granted charms are actually pretty handy for wrapping people around her little finger. Indeed, the only character who fails to fall for her in any great capacity is her rabidly capitalist husband, who is furious when she sorts out the company after he is absent due to a heart attack.

There was another French cinematic icon here, and he was Gérard Depardieu who played the mayor of the town. He and Deneuve had shared the screen before, but rarely so touchingly, as it is revealed Maurice the mayor had enjoyed a brief fling with Suzanne when they were far younger, and he still regards her as the love of his life even though they are at apparent opposite ends of the political spectrum. But the trick the film pulls is that Suzanne finds in her femininity a great reserve of diplomacy, leading her to bloom into a master (or mistress?) negotiator, a message of empowerment and how benefits to the community can be found in the least obvious places, along with a thumbs up to anyone who ever thought they had no purpose then discovered they were not so ineffectual after all. Throw in Catherine and Gérard getting on down at the discotheque and you had a character comedy that was never too heavy, affectionate and generous even if the laughs were more of the wry smile than the uproarious variety. Music by Philippe Rombi.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2066 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: