8 Women (8 Femmes) Reviews
The songs are quite annoying, overall, quite boring. Ozon can make much better, he made much better.
- '8 Femmes' is a French musical murder mystery from 2002 by director Françios Ozon (Dans la Maison). Although it takes a bit of time to get used to the French songs and I suspect a female audience will find this more appealing, I really like this movie and the twist in the end. In Agatha Christie style- whodunit storyline we try to find a murderer among eight colorful women, doing so we learn each of them carries a dark secret. This film features the crème de la crème of French actresses: Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppart, Emmanuelle Béart (Mission: Impossible), Danielle Darieux, Fanny Ardant, Virginie Ledoyen, Ludivine Sagnier and Firmine Richard. Who killed the only man in the house?
On a snowy winter morning in a isolated countryside mansion in France, the man of the house is found dead in his bed with a knife still sticking in his back. Because of the weather, the killer can only be one of the people in the house. Was it his stylish wife Gaby (Deneuve)? His spinster sister-in-law Augustine (Huppart)? His alcoholic mother-in-law Mamy (Darieux)? His perfectlyseeming eldest daughter Suzon (Ledoyen)? Or his youngest tomcat daughter Catherine (Sagnier)? Perhaps Madam Chanel (Richard) the cook had reason to get rid of him? Or maybe it was the sexy housemaid Louise (Béart)? While the woman try to find out what happened, another person shows up at their doorstep: Prostitute Pierrette (Ardant) who claims to be the victim's sister. Could she be the murderer? In order to solve the case each of the eight women will have to unravel their darkest secret.
Based on the eponymous 1958 play by Robert Thomas, the story is a familiar derivation of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. Marcel, the head of a wealthy country household, is murdered. The eight women in his life - his wife (Deneuve), two daughters (Virginie Ledoyan and Sagnier), sister (Fanny Ardant), mother- (Darrieux) and sister-in-law (Huppert), chambermaid (Beart) and cook (Firmine Richard) - are trapped together in the chateau by sabotage and a snowstorm. Unable to contact the police, they set about trying to deduce which of them is the murderer. Lies are told; secrets are revealed; alliances are made and broken; and in the end there is a surprising double twist.
As a murder mystery, the plot is hardly worthy of, say, Anthony Shaffer. But the plot is not the point, as you realise when the cast first (and entirely unexpectedly) breaks into song. This is not a garden variety country house thriller: This is no-holds-barred family politics, packaged as a tongue-in-cheek imitation of 1950s glam entertainment. Sit back, and enjoy the snappy interaction among the leads, and the gradual revelation of their characters' desires, their petty jealousies, and the gambits they use and have used, against each other and against Marcel, to get what they want. It is occasionally clumsy, always campy, and you might roll your eyes now and then at a particular bit of silliness. But 8 Femmes is worth the ride.