a song at the drop of a hat

In an isolated house eight women are trapped by a snowstorm with a dead body…and one of them must be the killer.

This is not a brooding thriller, but a timeless drawing room drama, with a bunch of songs to boot. Set in the 1950’s, but quite contemporary in design and attitude, this colourful film explores each of the women’s relationship with the others as well as their place in society, but in a fun way.

After the first very funny act, the story does become more serious as characters are developed and their stories revealed. There are many secrets within these women and as the film progresses each of they is exposed. They will never be the same again. As each in turn has the focus of the story, they tend to launch into song, often with a dance too, which sheds a bit more light on them, and as it is a song, keeps they appealing to the viewer.

a great selection of French tallent

Director Ozon wanted to do a film with only actresses for a long time. He searched and found a 1960’s crime play, which he based this film on. It is pretty obvious that once he had the story he concentrated on the design, which is exceptional considering that most of the story takes place in one room. Each of the eight women is identified with a flower, from the hairstyle right down to their shoes.
Not that the pre-production stopped. The casting of the eight characters is a lovely selection of French cinema from Catherine Deneuve to Ludivine Sagnier.

Note the though this is 8 Femmes, it has been called 8 women for English speaking audiences. Despite this the dialogue is in its original French soundtrack, with sub-titles on screen, rather than underneath the picture. The transfer is rich with the vivid colours of the costumes and sets. Though the sound is mixed to 5.1 channels, the surround channels aren’t used much.

A fun film, which will delight lovers of old fashion musicals and French cinema.