The Women on the 6th Floor (2011)
Paris, 1960. Jean-Louis (Fabrice Luchini, Potiche) lives a bourgeois existence absorbed in his work, cohabitating peacefully with his neurotic socialite wife Suzanne (Sandrine Kiberlain, Mademoiselle Chambon) while their children are away at boarding school. The couple's world is turned upside-down when they hire a Spanish maid Maria (Natalia Verbeke). Through Maria, Jean-Louis is introduced to an alternative reality just a few floors up on the building's sixth floor, the servants' quarters. He befriends a group of sassy Spanish maids (Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas, Berta Ojea, Nuria Sole, Concha Calan), refugees of the Franco regime, who teach him there's more to life than stocks and bonds. The women's influence on the house brings change... muy rápido! Official Selection of Berlinale. -- (C) Strand … More
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Critic Reviews for The Women on the 6th Floor
All in all-if all is meant moderately-the story leaves an agreeable aftertaste, which lingers longer than we expected.
The film sidesteps all complexities and leaves us with a closing shot that should come with a bucket.
The film doesn't blaze adventurous new trails, but it dramatizes the stories of those underappreciated servants with an engaging mix of romance, droll humor and upstairs-downstairs social consciousness.
A sweet yet occasionally heavy-handed comedy about class relations in 1962 Paris...
[It] has drama, comedy, romance and class politics. It also introduces an element of ethnic prejudice to the mix.
This agreeable French comedy wears its class consciousness on its sleeve but functions primarily as bourgeois light entertainment.
Beautifully filmed, well acted and a topical reminder that success isn't about how much money you have, but how you live - and boil your eggs.
The unreconstructed nature of the comedy ensures that the jokes and even the shots are awfully familiar.
Let's just say that this is not a film that will endear itself to a female audience.
Several stalwarts of European cinema retread familiar territory in this light-as-a-feather upstairs/downstairs comedy set in 1960s Paris.
Warm-hearted but silly French comedy, set in 1960 and starring the excellent Fabrice Luchini as a stockbroker in the stuffy world of the Parisian haute bourgeoisie.
Around the gentle tale of romance and longing there are some serious comments on class, politics, the legacy of the Spanish Civil War and European life in the era of Mad Men.
Luchini almost rescues it from its own complacency, but the script is equal parts blocked toilets and soft-boiled eggs.
Enjoyable, frequently funny French comedy with likeable characters and a strong central premise, though the script wobbles in the final act and the conclusion fails to convince.
Enjoyably satirical and occasionally insightful, it's betrayed by some lazy stereotyping.
What is an occasionally charming upstairs/downstairs comedy is overshadowed by one unintentionally creepy relationship.
This delightful slice-of-life observation on class distinctions will make you feel good inside. Luchini carries the movie as the central character with physical mannerisms that have a comedic bent. Other strengths include...
They romanticize the whole idea of these women. I mean, they're all essentially interchangeable.
Fabrice Luchini (Potiche) is immensely likeable as the film's shy leading man and the chatty maids have a humorous, cheeky disposition.
The film is better at exploring the human connection between Jean-Louis and the maids as a group than it is delving into a romantic connection between Jean-Louis and Maria.
Audience Reviews for The Women on the 6th Floor
I am NOT a French movie fan by any means, but every once in awhile I find myself pleasantly surprised by one. This splendid little film will be added to my "pleasantly surprised" category. Sweet. Charming. Plenty of things to smile about....More
In "The Women on the 6th Floor," business may be booming for Jean-Louis(Fabrice Luchini) in 1962, but at home, things could could not be any less smooth. It all started six months previously when his mother died, so his wife Suzanne(Sandrine Kiberlain) figures it is time to start throwing out stuff. Except their maid Germaine(Michele Gleizer) objects to the point of handing in her notice. And with things bordering on chaos, Suzanne takes her friends' advice, and instead of hiring another maid from Brittany, hires Maria(Natalia Verbeke) right off the bus from Spain. Inexperienced as she is, Maria gets some much needed help from her aunt Concepcion(Carmen Maura) and her compatriots on her first day at work.
"The Women on the 6th Floor" is an amusing comedy of manners that Fabrice Luchini does his best to make up for all of the plot holes and improbabilities, with the help of one great exchange.(Plus, how can you hate a comedy with a likable Communist character?) As important as it is to remember that 1962 is very different from today, it is also a year where change is in the air for France, with the Algerian war having just finished, not only for the country as a whole where the native culture gets to assimilate one culture while figuring out which one to hate next, but also on a personal level. For example, Jean-Louis' liberation comes from a different source with his parents now deceased but it is no less important.
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