Potiche

Cert 15, 103 mins, France 2010, Director:  Francois Ozon
“…superbly acted and designed”
“…a potent comedy for these conservative times”

“Deneuve is demure, poised, twinkly-eyed, conveying a sense that all her character’s responses to life are being held tactfully in reserve. She plays Suzanne Pujol, a “potiche”, or trophy wife. Mme Pujol’s household is wealthy but not super-rich. Her cantankerous and reactionary husband Robert (Fabrice Luchini) is the president of the factory Suzanne’s father originally founded; his aggressive and insensitive management style has done nothing to cool a growing atmosphere of unrest. This factory makes umbrellas (and Ozon naturally wants to evoke the memory of a young Deneuve in the 1964 movie ‘The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg’… Suzanne’s daughter Joëlle (Judith Godrèche) is as rightwing as her father; her student son Laurent (Jérémie Rénier) is a trendy lefty. Worldly Suzanne accepts the fact that her husband is having an affair with his mousy and resentful secretary Nadège (Karin Viard), but when Robert’s health is shattered by a violent strike, Suzanne has to take over the factory, and does so with the help of a secret ex-lover, the communist mayor Maurice Babin (tenderly played by Gérard Depardieu)…”

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Sat 22 October 8.00 pm