Sunday 27 December 2009

8 Women

The snow I featured in my photos the other day has turned to ice, and our little cul-de-sac has transformed into a skating rink. Too dangerous to contemplate shifting the car. So what could be more appropriate than to seize the chance to watch a film set in a snowbound mansion?

This is 8 Women, aka 8 Femmes, and I became aware of it thanks to the very informative comments by Philip and Bob Cornwell in relation to my recent post about the play Trap for a Lonely Man, written by Robert Thomas. Thomas also wrote the play on which 8 Women is based, although the credits say that the movie ‘liberally adapted’ it, and this I can well believe.

In fact, the film version followed more than 40 years after its theatrical source, and my guess is that director Francois Ozon utilised Thomas’s clever multiple plot twists, whilst turning them into something Thomas never expected: a send-up of a classic, Christiesque scenario, - with songs! The resultant mish-mash of murder and music is weird, but very watchable – especially because the cast is quite dazzling. It includes Danielle Darrieux, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Fanny Ardant, and Emmanuelle Beart, an extraordinary wealth of glamour and talent.

The eponymous eight women are all potential suspects in the murder of Marcel, a lecherous businessman on the verge of bankruptcy. Poor old Marcel never gets to utter a word, but it doesn’t matter because the women occupy all our attention, fighting amongst themselves, and embarking on voyages of self-discovery. Fun viewing, and a good way to spend a snowbound evening.


Anonymous said...

Martin - As always, thanks for your very interesting movie discussion. Who needs blockbusters? : ). I've always liked Catherine Deneuve (glamour certainly describes her), and the plot sounds entertaining and interesting. Another to add to my "to-watch" list.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I liked this movie very much. So rare to see women as the main characters in a film. And such a group of beauties.

Martin Edwards said...

Margot, I think that, like Patti and me, you will enjoy this one.
I do agree that it's fascinating to see an all-female cast, especially one of such quality.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I haven't seen this one, but it sure sounds interesting. Music and murder? I'll have to check that out.

Mystery Writing is Murder

Anonymous said...

Martin - Just wanted you to know there is an award for you on my blog.

Minnie said...

So glad you enjoyed this clever, fast-moving romp - and thank you for the background to it (of which I confess ignorance 'till now). I thought it was exceptional, and showcased the talents of all the actresses involved - terrific ensemble playing (they must have enjoyed themselves). Ozon's oeuvre demonstrates a sympathy with and ability to direct women not to mention some unusually meaty roles for women (who are usually the main protagonists), so no surprise that he always fields top actresses (Charlotte Rampling has appeared in 2 of his films).
PS Hope you're no longer snowed-in @ Edwards Towers.

Martin Edwards said...

Margot - thanks very much!

Martin Edwards said...

Minnie - I think Charlotte Rampling would also have been very good in the film, had casting allowed!