Potiche

Potiche

North of France, Sainte-Gudule, 1977. Suzanne is the submissive, housebound wife of wealthy industrialist Robert Pujol, who oversees his umbrella factory with an iron fist and is equally tyrannical with his children and 'trophy housewife'. When the workers go on strike and take Robert hostage, Suzanne steps in to manage the factory. To everyone's surprise, she proves herself a competent and assertive woman of action. But when Robert returns from a restful cruise in top form, things get complicated ... 3.4 out of 5 based on 17 reviews
Potiche

Omniscore:

Certificate
Genre Foreign, Comedy
Director François Ozon
Cast Catherine Deneuve, Jérémie Renier, Judith Godrèche Gérard Depardieu
Studio Optimum Releasing
Release Date June 2011
Running Time 103 mins
 

North of France, Sainte-Gudule, 1977. Suzanne is the submissive, housebound wife of wealthy industrialist Robert Pujol, who oversees his umbrella factory with an iron fist and is equally tyrannical with his children and 'trophy housewife'. When the workers go on strike and take Robert hostage, Suzanne steps in to manage the factory. To everyone's surprise, she proves herself a competent and assertive woman of action. But when Robert returns from a restful cruise in top form, things get complicated ...

Reviews

The Guardian

Peter Bradshaw

It is superbly acted and designed … Potiche is a potent comedy for these conservative times.

16/06/2011

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The Los Angeles Times

Kenneth Turan

[Ozon’s] kept the silliness of the plot [of the original play] but expanded on it and conveyed everything in an arch, high-style way that provides a showcase for the proficiency of the film's two stars … Helping to keep this ship from keeling over is the great professionalism and light touch of Deneuve and Depardieu. Costars numerous times, they go together as comfortably as an old pair of gloves. "Potiche" very much counts on this, and it has not miscalculated.

25/03/2011

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The New York Times

Roderick Conway Morris

With a frothy, sophisticated, quick-witted script, Mr. Ozon’s film follows in the tradition of the American screwball comedies of the 1940s. And the transformation of Suzanne from a sidetracked supernumerary of whimsical eccentricity into a resourceful character of pivotal importance is a joy to behold in one of the most finely tuned, raciest and most gripping performances of Ms. Deneuve’s career.

07/09/2010

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The Daily Telegraph

Tim Robey

Ozon’s film has its winking way with Deneuve, and she winks right back at it: she’s funny, loose and charming, but also aptly exasperated, and there’s room for a strain of melancholy ... Watching Ozon reconnect with his inner populist is a simple pleasure in lots of ways, but he proves there’s no need to banish nuance for fun’s sake.

16/06/2011

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Time Out

David Jenkins

Simultaneously mocking and revering the look and content of the archetypal ’70s sitcom, ‘Potiche’ succeeds largely due to the fact that all the performers understand the ‘wink-wink’ nature of the material … It’s as light and soft as a pink satin pillow, and a little overstretched, but it’s also packed with bawdy zingers and pointed political barbs.

16/06/2011

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The Times

The Times

Depardieu is so vast nowadays that his face seems to be pasted on to a blimp, yet his charms are unchanged … Deneuve is a favourite of director François Ozon, and she brings a sly, ironic touch to the movie … At the end, I had to restrain myself from jumping up and clapping. Kitsch fun.

17/06/2011

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The Independent on Sunday

Jonathan Romney

Manages to be at once retro and very of-the-moment, at once impeccably sophisticated and as cheesy as a job lot of Roquefort straight off the back of a camion.

19/06/2011

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The Observer

Jason Solomons

Potiche is delightfully performed and directed with legerdemain by this agile and versatile film-maker. There are fine supporting touches from Jérémie Renier as the Pujols' – ahem – artistically minded son and Judith Godrèche as their scheming daughter, sporting magnificent Farrah Fawcett-like golden hair. The film is certainly funny and attractive, and if at times it risks being somewhat decorative and hollow, there is always Deneuve at its heart, smiling and burning like ice.

19/06/2011

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The Sunday Times

Edward Porter

It’s fine for what it is, and quite impish in places, but fans of the more rebellious films of its director, François Ozon, might wonder what has become of him.

19/06/2011

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Empire Magazine

Anna Smith

Like a Gallic Nine To Five ('Neuf a Cinq'?), Ozon's comedy is a uniquely French skew on the gender politics of the home and the workplace. It's mostly funny, fast and fondly made although it drags a little towards the end.

01/06/2011

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Total Film

Philip Kemp

This is feminism-lite and director François Ozon plays it for laughs, revelling in his pastel vision of the ’70s. Good fun, though, and the spectacle of Deneuve and the now-mountainous Depardieu disco-dancing shouldn’t be missed.

08/06/2011

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The New York Times

A. O. Scott

You suspect, before long, that there is no strong reason for this production to exist, but it is reasonably good fun all the same. And there are at least two perfectly defensible reasons to see “Potiche”: Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu … While [Ozon] clearly enjoys messing around with a silly, antiquated play, he is too polite to offer the strong revisionist interpretation that the material invites.

24/03/2011

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The Daily Telegraph

David Gritten

This may be trivial stuff, and its origins as a crowd-pleasing hit play are evident, but director François Ozon is alert to the story’s camp elements and exploits them shrewdly. It’s funny and giddily enjoyable.

10/09/2010

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The Evening Standard

Derek Malcolm

If this is all traversed in a silly, sometimes cartoonish vein, it glories in its period style and provides the principals with a chance to shine. Deneuve's combination of dignity and a determined ordinariness is just right, while Depardieu's lovelorn political beast is equally watchable … it is one of those comedies everybody seems to like and gives us a shrewdly palatable view of our seemingly long-past social and sexual attitudes.

17/06/2011

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The Financial Times

Nigel Andrews

…this is the recognisable Ozon, kitschy and colourful, of 8 Women. The film is a proscenium confection that has somehow wandered into a projection beam: minor, but nice if you’re in the mood.

15/06/2011

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The Independent

Anthony Quinn

Catherine Deneuve is on magnificent form – singing and dancing! … It's as if Douglas Sirk had remade a seventies sitcom – in fact it's adapted from a play – while Gérard Depardieu as an old flame of Suzanne's brings ballast to the flyaway confection.

17/06/2011

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The New Yorker

David Denby

Dreadful … dated, self-congratulatory, and obvious. Deneuve and the (now) enormous Depardieu, together again, are a sight that would strain the patience of even the most ardent nostalgist.

01/06/2011

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