Potiche - Movie Review


In France 1977, Suzanne Pujol (Catherine Deneuve) is the stay-at-home trophy wife of a rich man Robert Pujol (Fabrice Luchini) who runs the family umbrella factory with a tyrannical iron fist. When the workers, who are fed up their poor working conditions strike, he tries to deal with them with force only to be taken hostage. Suzanne enlists the help of former lover and communist mayor Maurice Babin (Gérard Dépardieu) and negotiates a truce. The stress causes Robert to hospitalized and with her husband indisposed, Suzanne is forced to manage the factory herself. To the surprise of everyone, she proves that she is a very capable woman and gets the factory up and running with better work conditions and even improving sales with the help of her artistic son and disbelieving daughter. However, the situation gets complicated when Robert comes back wanting to take over the factory again but now that Suzanne has been in control for several months, she realizes she is no longer content to live her life as a just a trophy wife!

Potiche, meaning trophy wife, is a French movie with English subtitles dealing with the subject of the women emancipation movement in the late 1970s. I really enjoyed the film! It was very funny and light even with such a serious topic. A lot of the jokes were about how the characters were so flippant about adultery though. The film even started with a pair of rabbits humping each other! Deneuve's character was so likable and she gave a great performance as the submissive trophy wife who left the shelf to pursue her independence. All the other actors did an amazing job as well. Funny and entertaining, this film is sure to delight audiences.

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