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
Danielle Darrieux has played Catherine Deneuve’s mother three times in three different decades: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort in 1967, Le Lieu du Crime in 1986, and Eight Women in 2002.
Catherine Deneuve has been in some of Europe’s most original musicals: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Dancer in the Dark, and Eight Women. (She’s also had some very hot kissing scenes with other women, but I don’t want to seem obsessive.) UPDATE: Someone reminded me that Les Desmoiselles de Rochefort was also a musical.