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MOVIE REVIEW: Potiche

A bad French film with huge stars

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  • Catherine Deneuve and Franois Ozon on the set of "Potiche."
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This is the story about a submissive housewife who knows her husband cheats, and doesn’t seem bothered. She writes goofy poems in a notebook, jogs around town, and runs the house. When her husband is held hostage at the umbrella factory he runs, she ends up negotiating things. It makes sense, since it was her dad that started the company and she seems to side with them on their many complaints.

Gerard Depardieu (who seems to get fatter in each film) plays a mayor and ex-boyfriend of Catherine Deneuve (beautiful; even when they want her to look frumpy in the sweat suit she looks ravishing).

Writer-director Francois Ozon did the movie Swimming Pooland worked with Deneuve in 8 Women. This is the adaptation of a comic play from the ‘70s, and it should’ve been left on the stage. The set designs and wardrobes all worked, but that’s about the only thing in the movie that did.This movie is filmed like an unfunny ‘70s sitcom. And the white subtitles with white backgrounds is even more annoying when a few times the subtitles jumped off the screen before I had a chance to read them.

Judith Godreche is gorgeous, and she plays the daughter, but the kids aren’t given a lot to do. Fabrice Luchini plays the chauvinist husband and boss rather well, and Deneuve and Depardieu can make their performances look so natural. It makes me wish with this cast, that the story lived up to their performances.

The whole story with the wife showing some backbone and the equality message is okay, but so what. Of course, it’s French, which means critics are praising it for reasons that are beyond me.

This movie gets a D.