8 Women (2002, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert)

Poster for the movie "8 Women"
R 111 min - Comedy, Thriller, Music, Crime, Mystery - 8 January 2002
Our rating:

Like Gosford Park, this delightful whodunnit centres not just on the peerless cast, but the director's skill of bringing the best from such diverse talent.

Returning to her family's home for Christmas, young Suzon (Virginie Ledoyen) has a formidable welcoming committee. Her mother Gaby (Catherine Deneuve) and granny Mamy (Danielle Darrieux) are present, alongside Suzon's sister Catherine (Ludivine Sagnier) and her aunts Augustine (Isabelle Huppert) and Pierette (Fanny Ardant). The nanny (Firmine Richard) and maid (Emmanuelle BÈart) complete the ensemble. The women are faced with a tragedy: the murder of Suzon's father. Snowed in by a blizzard and unable to contact the police - and realising his killer must be among them - the women begin to investigate. Each one would have a motive for murder, and suspicion rises, rivalries intensify and secrets are unearthed as the truth slowly begins to emerge...

Camp, classy and extremely well crafted, likening the film to a dolls' house, FranÁois Ozon wanted the octet to symbolise the varied facets of French femininity (vamp, ice queen, ingenue, tomboy and so on), but remain likeable. "Even if they fight like fishwives," he said, "I wanted them to be moving. I wanted people to feel close to them." His cast oblige. From Darrieux (who was a favourite of Max " La Ronde " Ophuls) and Deneuve through to Ledoyen, each actor gets a scene and a song to shine. Combined with stunning costumes and vibrant colour photography, the effect is pure Douglas Sirk: wholly artificial and utterly irresistible.

Director:  François Ozon

Release Date:  8 January 2002

Running Time:  1 h 51 min

Genres: Comedy, Thriller, Music, Crime, Mystery
Country:   France Italy

Language:  French

Budget and Box Office takings where known

Budget:  $8,000,000