8 Women

8 Women

4.1 6
Director: François Ozon

Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Emmanuelle Béart


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A gaggle of mothers, wives, daughters, maids, and mistresses gather for a holiday homecoming at their country mansion -- and end up having to solve a murder-mystery -- in this musical-comic homage to studio-era "women's pictures" from acclaimed French director François Ozon. Partly inspired by George Cukor's 1939 classic The Women, 8 Femmes stars…  See more details below


A gaggle of mothers, wives, daughters, maids, and mistresses gather for a holiday homecoming at their country mansion -- and end up having to solve a murder-mystery -- in this musical-comic homage to studio-era "women's pictures" from acclaimed French director François Ozon. Partly inspired by George Cukor's 1939 classic The Women, 8 Femmes stars Catherine Deneuve as Gaby, a high-society matron just returned to her country house to celebrate Christmas with her husband; mother Mamy (Danielle Darrieux); sister Augustine (Isabelle Huppert); and daughters Suzon (Virginie Ledoyen) and Catharine (Ludivine Sagnier). Not long after they all arrive, however, do they find the man of the house with a knife in his back, whereupon everyone becomes a suspect -- including maids Chanel (Firmine Richard) and Louise (Emmanuelle Béart). The mysterious arrival of Augustine's sister-in-law Pierrette (Fanny Ardant) only complicates matters, as the titular eight women find themselves snowed in by a fierce blizzard, forced to confront the matter of the lifeless husband -- and their long-standing secrets and resentments -- without the aid of the police. Following its immensely successful release in France in early 2002, 8 Women enjoyed much acclaim at the Berlin and Toronto Film Festivals.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
Eight of France's finest actresses sing and dance their way through a drawing-room murder mystery in 8 Women, a candy-coated genre mishmash from director François Ozon. The titular females form the film's backbone -- an astounding cast including Catherine Deneuve, Virginie Ledoyen, Ludivine Sagnier, Emmanuelle Béart, Fanny Ardant, Isabelle Huppert, Danielle Darrieux, and Fermine Richard. Based on a 1960s Agatha Christie-inspired play, the story itself is set at a French country estate where the man of the house (Dominique Lamure) is murdered. The eight women --all relatives or servants -- proceed to exchange accusations and secrets as to the murderer's identity during one snowbound night. But whodunit is hardly the point here: 8 Women is a superbly stylized film that cloaks a mystery parody in the Technicolor vibrancy of a Douglas Sirk melodrama or a Vincente Minnelli musical. It's all punctuated with charming solo numbers that run the gamut from bouncy French pop to heartfelt ballads, serving as splendid, often tongue-in-cheek showpieces for each actress's unique charisma. In the face of this improbable confluence of styles, Ozon maintains a carefully considered tone, and the performances remain focused, powerful, and true. Ultimately, 8 Women is a complex mixture of genres and personalities, but its strong flavors blend into a surprisingly smooth confection.
All Movie Guide - Michael Hastings
After the subdued classicism of the dramatic thriller Under the Sand, director François Ozon lets loose with this star-studded camp extravaganza, and though the results are never less than immensely enjoyable, the director's hyper-ironic, postmodern take on Technicolor '50s women's pictures is in the end more than a little shallow. But depth isn't what Ozon is interested in here: 8 Women is all surface and pastiche, from the garish costumes recalling both Douglas Sirk's All That Heaven Allows and Luis Buñuel's Diary of a Chambermaid, to the curiously static musical numbers marrying François Hardy classics to Lawrence Welk-style choreography. The formula yields some delectable performances, among them a grand, icon-smashing tour de force from Catherine Deneuve; a tweedy, constipated turn from Isabelle Huppert, cast joyously against type; and Emmanuelle Béart's lip-smacking parody of the erotic-maid archetype so endemic to Gallic film history. Even the film's source material seems tailor-made to Ozon's needs: The acidic one-liners, double- and triple-crosses, and ambi-sexual character revelations all work in tandem with 8 Women's meticulously designed and over-lit sets, fake snow, and plastic deer. So while film geeks -- in particular those with an encyclopedic knowledge of French cinema -- may have a ball, those expecting a straight (in every sense of the word) comedic murder-mystery will be forgiven if they stagger out of 8 Women a little dazed and confused.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Catherine Deneuve Gaby
Isabelle Huppert Augustine
Emmanuelle Béart Louise
Fanny Ardant Pierrette
Virginie Ledoyen Suzon
Danielle Darrieux Mamy
Ludivine Sagnier Catherine
Firmine Richard Mme. Chanel

Technical Credits
François Ozon Director,Screenwriter
Hubert Barbin Asst. Director
Laurence Bawedin Editor
Antoinette Boulat Casting
Sébastien Charles Choreography
Pascaline Chavanne Costumes/Costume Designer
Arnaud de Moleron Production Designer
Marina de Van Screenwriter
Olivier Delbosc Producer
Pierre Gamet Sound/Sound Designer
Jean-Pierre Laforce Sound/Sound Designer
Jeanne Lapoirie Cinematographer
Krishna Levy Score Composer
Marc Missonnier Producer

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8 Women 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a fun movie!!! A brilliant cast with France's finest the movie is funny and joyful!! If you haven't seen it in the cinema buy the DVD - have you seen it on the big screen buy the DVD anyway! :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's a senseless musical. I enjoy musicals but this is inappropriate and does not flow with the plot of the film! I was greatly disappointed and frustrated. The actresses in this film are wonderful and I was hoping for much more in a film that brought them all together. I'll be getting rid of this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful movie, with some of France's most well known actresses. 8 Femmes is like a musical version of the American film Clue gone awry. The acting is impeccable, and I would be stunned to find someone who can resist laughing whenever the cast breaks out into their cheesy (yet fun!) musical numbers! There is still the dramatic element of a murder mystery that one would expect, but with a light-hearted tone. I would recommend this film to anyone who might enjoy musical comedies, murder mysteries, or French films in general! Don't let yourself become turned off by the thought of sub-titles either; you'll forget they're even there!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have you ever noticed how in musicals the actors just break into song at the most pointless times? Well, this movie pokes fun at that fact, in a hilarious way! It's a comedy- mystery thriller that's also a musical! If you love weird movies get this DVD! I highly recommend.
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