March 22, 2003

8 femmes

Watched the DVD of 8 femmes last night. Starring some of the best French women actors working, the performances are predictably wonderful. The story is one of those claustrophobic ones where everyone comes to the country house for the weekend and becomes trapped there when the weather turns bad. One of them is murdered and the others try to find out who did it. While you may feel like you've seen that movie enough times, writer/director François Ozon has done something truly original with the form. (It's based on a play by Robert Thomas). It's set in the 50s and on the surface, the movie is kind of a Doris Day confection complete with a musical number for each of the 8 women of the title. But the dark secrets that each of the women reveal as the story unfolds are in stark and hilarious contrast to the perky technicolor veneer. It's kind of strange having seen this right after Chicago since here is another movie full of not particularly admirable characters, but in contrast, they all come off being likable despite their faults. Maybe it's just because they're not all murderers.

Do not, under any circumstances, try to view this film in a pan-and-scan version. Ozon uses the entire screen and you don't want to miss a thing.

Verdict: 3-1/2 stars (out of 4)

Posted by jeffy at March 22, 2003 02:37 PM