Potiche (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Set in 1977 in a provincial French town, POTICHE is a free adaptation of the 1970s eponymous hit comic play. Catherine Deneuve is Suzanne Pujol, a submissive, housebound 'trophy housewife' (or "potiche,") who steps in to manage the umbrella factory run by her wealthy and tyrannical husband (Fabrice Luchini) after the workers go on strike and take him hostage. To everyone's surprise, Suzanne proves herself a competent and assertive woman of action. But when her husband returns from a restful … More

Rating: R (for some sexuality)
Genre: Art House & International, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: François Ozon
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 19, 2011
Box Office: $1.6M
Music Box Films - Official Site


as Nadège

as Spanish Truck Driver

as Geneviève Michonneau

as Young Suzanne

as Young Babin
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Critic Reviews for Potiche

All Critics (113) | Top Critics (33)

It's as light and soft as a pink satin pillow, and a little overstretched, but it's also packed with bawdy zingers and pointed political barbs.

Full Review… | June 15, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

"Potiche" is a frothy French confection, a sort of île flottante of movies.

Full Review… | June 2, 2011
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Dithers here and yon, with a deliberately dated tinny score and retro camera movements that annoy just as often as they delight.

Full Review… | May 3, 2015
Philadelphia Weekly

Even though we don't really care about the dialogue or script at times, it's easy--and fun!--to be distracted by the pretty pictures.

Full Review… | August 15, 2013
The Playlist

Deneuve and Depardieu -- daft and funny and feather light

Full Review… | January 12, 2013
Tribune News Service

Deneuve's performance and the artistic design make this film work, despite shortcomings in humor and plotting.

Full Review… | February 11, 2012
Movie Metropolis

Audience Reviews for Potiche


French performers Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu are two household names in their native France but also familiar with English speaking filmgoers. Basically, they've been around and have delivered an incalculable amount of great performances throughout their careers. This is a film that brings them both together (although not for the first time) and serves as a reminder of how skilful and commanding they are on screen.
Suzanne Pujol (Catherine Denueve) is a "Potiche" - a decorative, trophy wife - who runs a household, while her husband Robert (Fabrice Luchini) runs the family umbrella factory and philanders with his secretary. A workers strike breaks out which leads to Robert having a heart attack and while he recuperates, Suzanne reluctantly takes control of the family business with her two adult children. However, Suzanne is more shrewd and clever than given credit for and she manages to regain the trust of the workers and turn the fortunes of the business around while steadily gaining respect from numerous corners of society including Maurice Babin (Gerard Depardieu), the influential Mayor.
It takes a little time to work up to "Potiche" as it's very dialogue driven. So much so, that it's quite difficult to keep up with the subtitles and it's constant stream of verbal exchanges. However, it's confidently handled and when it does get going it throws in many facets of an individuals life and the complexities and challenges that life throws at us all.
Where it's strengths lie is in it's perfectly pitched commentary on the struggle that women faced throughout the 1970's in order to achieve the same equality as men. Denueve's Suzanne Pujol is the perfect embodiment of a woman hanging up her apron and reclaiming her respect and dignity. It also shows a balance between the strength and vulnerability involved in such a time; on the surface, Suzanne is seen as weak yet she grows in confidence and even considers divorcing her husband. Meanwhile, her daughter Joëlle (Judith Godrèche) is seen as strong and independent yet ultimately can't bear to be alone. One of the few decent male figures is Suzanne's son, Laurent (Jérémie Rénier). He's a prominent supporting character and even though he's male and serves as his mothers rock, he seems to carry a certain femininity. This is one of the many clever little devices that provide this film with an astute commentary of the politics and the cognitive shift between the sexes during the 1970's.
The only issue I had was the pacing; despite the wonderful story, quirky humour and solid performances, it fails to completely hold your attention. This is a small gripe but still one that I couldn't ignore. If it delivered itself with a bit more urgency, then this would have been top class.
A subtly handled little dramatic comedy that manages to incorporate many facets of life and has a sumptuous rendering of the 70's era. It could have been tighter but it's still a lot of fun.

Mark Walker

Mark Walker

Super Reviewer


Even if there is nothing really special in this light comedy, this is still a very pleasant and funny film thanks to Deneuve and Depardieu, who both shine together (as usual) in an amusing story.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

A really charming and colourful comedy which shows that a 67-year-old Catherine Deneuve has lost none of her star power.

Matheus Carvalho
Matheus Carvalho

Super Reviewer

Potiche Quotes

– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

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