Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini, Karin Viard, Judith Godreche and Jeremie Renier

Rated: R 
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: April 8, 2011 Released by: Music Box Films

This new French import from Francois Ozon (Swimming Pool) is stagy, spume scent fun set in a provincial town circa 1977.
Potiche (fully subtitled) will hard be as huge of a success on this side of the Atlantic, but there is enjoyment in seeing a diva-like Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu on-screen again, as they've been doing it now for more than three decades.
Deneuve's eponymous 'trophy wife' Suzanne is well taken care of by umbrella factory proprietor husband Robert, offered up with dollops of icy abstinence by Fabrice Luchini. Robert, of course, has his distaff pleasures to keep him happy.
This theatre to silver screen translation by Ozon may not be ideal fit, but is tartly spry enough as the storyline is akin to the recent Made In Dagenham.
A strike at the owner's factory leaves Robert in rough shape for a while thanks to his disgruntled underlings, and is urged by his physician to get plenty of R & R.
This gives the subservient Suzanne an opportunity for a little 'carpe diem' when it comes to her hubby's business. She'll be abetted by former beau and Communist mayor Maurice, a very stout Depardieu, and things at the factory take a dramatic upswing while Robert is away.
Judith Godreche and Jeremie Renier (find Lorna's Silence and Summer Hours) offer noteworthy backup as Suzanne's grown children in on the new and improved conditions. The latter going is predicated on the skulduggery on an executive ensconced into getting back what isn't rightfully his according to a sizable contingent.
While it's happening, Potiche bristles as shameless entertainment even if it may linger much afterwards. It might be in the shadow of more formidable, weighty productions of bygone eras, but to see Deneuve (The Girl on the Train) and Depardieu (Mesrine: Killer Instinct) taking on the establishment definitely has its amusing advantages.

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Potiche        B                  B 

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