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Russia Trip: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
Best of 2002: Movies, Books, Music.
Best of 2003: Movies.
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Sunday, September 29, 2002

Saw Eight Women this afternoon. Wow! The Women meets The Mousetrap meets Murder on the Orient Express meets Sapphism for Beginners (OK, I made that last one up).

Before this, director François Ozon has been strictly art-house, and although I think this film probably wouldn’t have been so effective without his arty nods and winks, it works as straight-up entertainment. As a musical, 8W was awesome: Virtually no attempt at naturalism, or to give all the actresses “perfect” voices. In fact some of the most effective songs, like Chanel’s (Firmine Richard) and Augustine’s (Isabelle Huppert) were all the more engaging for their imperfections. In some ways, Eight Women may be Ozon’s equivalent of Pedro Almodóvar’s All About My Mother: a European gay male director’s take on a Hollywood classic.

I spent the first 10 minutes fixated on Catherine Deneuve, convinced that it was physically impossible to be sexier. Then along came Fanny Ardant, who was just so outrageously hot that even Deneuve faded from view. Catherine Deneuve, the second-sexiest woman in the movies! Ardant has a lovely line in knowing, sexy looks. She used them to good force in Sin Noticias de Dios (she played God, flirting outrageously and extremely convincingly with the devil played by Gael García Bernal, who’s 29 years younger than her), but even more so in this movie.

Fun Eight Women trivia: