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Sunday, July 3, 2011

283. Potiche


    I had a fear. I have been watching clips from Potiche for weeks thanks to it providing the backdrop for the latest Orange cinema ads.
    The trouble is Orange has a ghastly record for using films and raising expectation to the point they are bound to disappoint.
    The most obvious example of this recently was Rio.
    This time the Orange ad boldly claims that Potiche is 'the feelgood film of the summer.' Oh no. Such a claim gives me the heebie jeebies. It's bound to be overhype.
    And, I guess, in Potiche's case, it is - but not by too much.
    Catherine Deneuve certainly help put a smile on the faces of Mrs W and myself at Broadway in  Nottingham tonight - and, after a weekend of virtually non-stop movie-watching, that is no small achievement.
    Denueve is 67 - but she is still beautiful and has terrific screen presence.
    She is everything the poster above says about her. But even more she has a wicked twinkle in her eye. One which says "I'm still sexy.''
    I ought to explain to the kids in the audience - Deneuve was Brigitte Bardot-standard in the 1960s. Just take a look on Google images.
    Anyway, here she plays the role of trophy wife, Suzanne Pujol, downtrodden by her domineering husband (Fabrice Luchini).
    The date is 1977 and Suzanne is stuck in a loveless marriage to a man who is making a mess of running the factory once owned by her father.
    However, hubbie has heart problems and Suzanne has to be dragged in to lead the company while he is hospitalised.
    Her softer style suddenly means the workers, and their communist MP ally (Gerard Depardieu), are eating out of her hands.
    Potiche pokes a lot of fun at 1970s attitudes, particularly those of men towards women. There are a few decent laughs without it ever tickling the ribs so much they hurt.
    It came as no surprise to me, when I was reading up on it afterwards, that it is adapted from a stage play.
    Director Francois Ozon has given the movie a theatrical style which adds to its warm feel.
    If Deneuve is great it has to be said that Luchini is also superbly over the top and Depardieu again helps lift the film a couple of notches.
    Potiche was a good, but not spectacular night out. If it's not the best of the feelgood hits of the summer, it is, at least, one of them.
    Rating? 7/10

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283. Potiche


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