Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but never quite as good as it could be, 12 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Potiche [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
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Boasting an excellent cast on good - but not quite great - form, with Catherine Deneuve giving one of her liveliest performances, Potiche is an enjoyable French battle of the sexes comedy that still leaves you feeling it could have been even better. Based on a 1980 play by Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Grédy and set in a convincingly familiar recreation of the 70s that doesn't over egg the pudding and keeps the design in the background so it doesn't overpower the jokes, it sees Deneuve's ageing poetry-scribbling trophy wife who no-one takes seriously suddenly thrust into the hot seat and replacing husband Fabrice Lucini as the head of the family umbrella factory. Naturally she's only there as one of his manoeuvres to outflank the striking workers, but just as naturally she turns out to be much better at the job than he is...

It may be a filmed play but it's pleasingly cinematic without feeling gratuitously opened out, Ozon even throwing in a nice little nod to Jacques Demy with some colourful umbrellas that would have been just the thing in Cherbourg drawing Deneuve's approval. Unfortunately it loses its way a little after a boardroom coup only fuels her ambition in a last act added by director Francois Ozon to play on the then-recent election campaign that saw Sarkozy come to power. Co-star Gerard Depardieu's health problems are occasionally noticeable and while it's pleasing to see him in good company again, the magic is never quite there in his scenes with Denueve though he's better in his underplayed scenes attempting to bond with Jeremie Renier. But even if it never quite works as well as it promises, there's still much to enjoy here, from the ailing Lucini's autopilot misunderstanding when Karen Viard offers him her `speciality' to the casual swipes at 70s sexism and kitsch tastes.

The UK PAL DVD offers a good subtitled widescreen transfer but is rather short on extras, and those there are are curious - costume tests, trailer and a lengthy selection of outtakes that offer a couple of amusing moments but also show a surprising amount of impatience and not always well disguised genuine irritation from some of the cast members (an impatient Fabrice Lucini in particular).
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 26 Jan 2015 08:53:19 GMT
You must be very difficult to please. I saw it twice at the cinema and came out very happy each time.
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Trevor Willsmer
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Location: London, England

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