Les femmes de l'ombre

2008

Les femmes de l'ombre

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

71%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 7

71%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,658
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Les femmes de l'ombre Photos

Movie Info

A handful of women use their smarts and allure in the service of the French Resistance in this historical drama set during World War II. Louise (Sophie Marceau) is a beautiful woman recruited into the French underground by her brother Pierre (Julien Boisselier) while Nazi forces occupy their homeland. Maurice Buckmaster (Colin David Reese) is a British agent who smuggles Louise into London to give her a special assignment -- a British scientist working with weapons research has been captured by Axis forces and is being held in a French hospital. Louise is ordered to put together a team of female resistance fighters to find the scientist and smuggle him to safety before he can be forced to tell Nazi intelligence what he knows. Louise's band of heroines includes Gaelle (Deborah Francois), who knows about demolition; Jeanne (Julie Depardieu), a streetwalker more interested in her own survival than the future of France; Suzy (Marie Gillain), a nightclub entertainer who was romantically involved with a German officer; and Maria Luzzato (Maya Sansa), a Jewish noblewoman who is on hand to help the other women when they make their way back into France. Les Femmes de l'ombre (aka Female Agents was inspired by the true story of Lise Villameur, who served with French resistance forces during the Second World War.

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Cast

Sophie Marceau
as Louise Desfontaines
Julie Depardieu
as Jeanne Faussier
Marie Gillain
as Suzy Desprez
Déborah François
as Gaelle Lemenech
Moritz Bleibtreu
as Karl Heindrich
Maya Sansa
as Maria Luzzato
Julien Boisselier
as Pierre Desfontaines
Volker Bruch
as Lieutenant Becker
Robin Renucci
as Melchior
Xavier Beauvois
as Claude Granville
Colin David Reese
as Colonel Maurice Buckmaster
Juergen Mash
as Gerd Von Rundstedt
Conrad Cecil
as Le géologue anglais
Alexandre Jazede
as René Bourienne
David Capelle
as Bernard Quesnot
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Critic Reviews for Les femmes de l'ombre

All Critics (7) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (2)

  • A war thriller in classic style, with superb central performances which help Female Agents rise above the awful title and keep you hooked from start to gripping finish.

    Sep 22, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Being based on facts, the story doesn't conform to a standard dramatic structure - making it even more of a nail biting experience.

    Jul 26, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Salome manages to give a sobering account of the resistance movement, as he clearly shows the cost that is paid. We warm to each of the characters as we follow the twists and turns of the complex plot that leads us through betrayals and triumphs

    Jul 26, 2008 | Full Review…
  • At no point does Female Agents begin to approach the muddy, bloody complexities of war represented by Black Book or Lust, Caution, films genuinely fascinated by the plight of women behind enemy lines.

    Jul 1, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Salomé... struggles to resist the occupation of his film by misplaced cliché and awkward melodrama, undermining any claim to authenticity.

    Jun 23, 2008 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Les femmes de l'ombre

  • Apr 01, 2015
    Or, The Dowdy Half-Dozen? Female Agents shines some light on a rather unknown slice of World War Two history in which women were recruited and trained by the British government to act as spies in occupied France. Sophie Marceau's character was inspired by one such real life French agent named Lise de Baissac, one of only six women to be decorated with honors by the military during that war. While her backstory and future detailed in the epilogue are given a true account, what happens during the film is pure fiction! That's why her name was changed, since this mission never really occurred. Even so, the film capably presents a scenario that could have happened and thus offers an exciting couple hours of action and espionage as five women and their CO are dispatched to extract a disguised British geologist with knowledge of the imminent D-Day invasion from a German hospital. Torture scenes are wincing & convincing, as is Sophie with her stone-cold determination and ability to operate a sniper rifle. I also recommend you read the Telegraph's obituary on Lise de Baissac, who died in 2004 at age 98 and gave the director the idea for making this film. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1458206/Lise-Villameur.html
    Doctor S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 26, 2009
    This war thriller is incrediblily and inspired by the multi-decorated wartime agent Lisa Villameur, director Jean-Paul Salome's beautifully nuanced film focused on the remarkable behaviour of women whose actions were often overlooked in favour of their male counterparts. The thrill is in the way Salome presents his story. This is no rose-tinted period reinvention, but an old-fashioned action film with a grim determination. These scenes are beautifully shot - watch out for the most iconic use of train steam this side of <i>The Railway Children</i>. From the claustrophobic nightmares of inquisition to an underground scene that's coordinated with ballet-like elegance, Salome's war is always graceful but never black-and-white.
    Dean M Super Reviewer
  • May 04, 2009
    basically this film should've been called "how many times can some women botch an assassination?" but it was solid and evocative
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Feb 21, 2009
    Watchably decent female spy movie. Great plot and all very nicely done but it did leave me wanting just a bit more...
    Marcus W Super Reviewer

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