Chichester Cinema at New Park


Selective Retrospectives

The most popular French film of the year returns after sell out shows in July. When her husband is taken hostage by his striking employees, a trophy wife (Catherine Deneuve) takes the reins of the family business and proves to be a remarkably effective leader.

Set in 1977 in a provincial French town, "Pôtiche" is a free adaptation of the 1970s eponymous hit comic play adapted by Francois Ozen. Deneuve is Suzanne Pujol, a submissive, housebound 'trophy housewife' (“Pôtiche") who steps in to manage her wealthy and tyrannical husband’s (Fabrice Lucchini) umbrella factory after the workers go on strike and take him hostage.

To everyone's surprise, Suzanne proves herself a competent and assertive woman of action. Is this a gallic version of ‘Made in Dagenham’? But when her husband returns from a restful cruise in top form, things get complicated.

Gerard Depardieu plays a former union leader and Suzanne's ex-beau who still holds a flame for her. In another warm-hearted turn opposite Deneuve, he finds the right notes of weariness for Babin, a somewhat tired, middle-aged idealist who's fought for workers' rights all his life.

Deneuve, in a pitch-perfect performance, gently oscillates between the two men and the extremes they represent. She carries the whole movie here with grace, showcasing her flawless comedic timing and acting without any visible effort. Often hilarious! (subtitles)

France Flag France · 2011 · Francois Ozon · 104min


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