Director François Ozon’s homage to Douglas Sirk has beautiful fake snow, blindingly bright colors and a cast consisting only of strong women. It is a production where everyone involved has just had a lot of fun, but still delivered. There’s a murder mystery in the style of Agatha Christie, with eight women, all related to the victim, arguing over which one of them stabbed him in the back. They also find time to sing a few classic songs and explore emotions. It’s all very silly and charming, with a clever denouement. All the women are wonderful; Isabelle Huppert is particularly enjoyable as the constantly rancorous spinster.
2002-France. 113 min. Color. Produced by Olivier Delbosc, Marc Missonier. Written and directed by François Ozon. Play: Robert Thomas. Cast: Danielle Darrieux (Mamy), Catherine Deneuve (Gaby), Isabelle Huppert (Augustine), Fanny Ardant, Emmanuelle Béart, Virginie Ledoyen.
Trivia: Original title: 8 femmes. Ozon originally intended to remake The Women (1939). The play was previously filmed for French television in 1972.
European Film Awards: Best Actress (entire cast).
Last word: “‘8 femmes’ instantly seemed ideal for my feminine film project. From the play, I mainly kept the setting and a simplified version of the story. I’ve tried to strengthen the humor, deepen the characters and add complexity and modernity to the rivalries and family problems between the eight women. I wanted to make a comedy combining a classic crime thriller with Agatha Christie-like intrigues and a closed environment where the murderer is among the group. But underneath this surface, I wanted to paint a light and amusing reflection on femininity, actresses, class struggle and family secrets.” (Ozon, FrancoisOzon.com)