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8 Women

Starring: Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Beart, Fanny Ardant, Virginie Ledoyen, Danielle Darrieux, Ludivine Sagnier and Firmine Richard.
Directed by: Francios Ozon
Rated: PG-13

 

8 Women is a remarkable piece. Surreal and spectacular. Hilarious and handsome. I am not sure I have ever seen anything quite like it. At first you feel as if Audrey Hepburn will pop out from behind the door and join the cast. Because certainly this is a re-release of a 1950's chick flick. But it is not - it is brand new. Then just when you settle to the fact that it's a stylistic modern made visual throw back with all the glitzy glamour of that era the women burst into catchy fruity songs!
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After you stop roaring with laughter, you again settle, and begin to be drawn in to the delightful twisting tale unfolding before you in bright bold colors washing across the simple set!

Then again I should not be surprised at my surprise. The film is created by France's adorable and avante garde director François Ozon. He calls it a comedic murder mystery. But he forgot to ad occasional musical to the quip.

The cast is the who's who chickbabes of French cinema. These glorious beauties parade in front of you oozing charm and talent as Ozon's story about an isolated mansion caught in a snowstorm and the center of a murder intrigue unravels.

Gaby (Catherine Deneuve) an elegant snobby socialite owns the mansion that the eight women are all gathered at. Among the gals present are Gaby's eldest daughter, Suzon (Virginie Ledoyen), her spinster bitter-to-the-stars sister Augustine (Isabelle Huppert), Suzon's little sister Catherine (Ludvine Sagnier), her sister-in-law Pierrette (Fanny Ardant), her odd mom Mamy (Danielle Darrieux) and a couple of less than domestic domestics; Louise ( Emmanuelle Beart) the model-like chamber maid and Madame Chanel (Firmine Richard) the woman who raised Gaby's daughters.

The tale starts simple enough. It is Christmas time and Suzon is coming home for the holiday. At first all the women are happy and making nice. Faster than you can toss the fruitcake without being spotted - the head of the household, Gaby's husband, Marcel is found dead. He's been murdered. Given the old 86. He lies lifeless in his boudoir and each of the women falls suspect.

The telephone line is cut and the only car conveniently lies dead in the driveway. There are only the eight of them and the raging storm that forbids anyone from coming or going makes it very clear the killer is one of them...

Through stories and song they begin to root out the killer who hides among them. As each woman tells their truth about themselves we get more confused as to whom the killer might be since they all appear to have motive and kind of despise the man.

Frilly and fabulous. Ridiculous and royal. The stunning costumes by Pascaline Chavanne really punctuated the brilliance of the stage-like setting. One can only hope this style of dress comes back into vogue.

I love this film. Make an effort to find 8 Women and enjoy its wonderful witty world of wackos!

Snack recommendation: Chilled white wine and room temperature Brie



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