Reviews

Eight Women

4

Taking a little-known 1960s whodunnit by Robert Thomas - whose chief claim to fame is that one of his plays was almost filmed by Hitchcock - French helmer François Ozon (Sitcom, Under The Sand) here weaves a beguiling Gosford Park-style murder mystery. And if the delirious mixture of Agatha Christie, Yves Saint-Laurent, high camp and high fashion doesn't get your juices flowing, then check out that amazing cast: Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Fanny Ardant, Emmanuelle Béart, Virginie Ledoyen... It reads like a Who's Who of Gallic glamour.

The leggy ladies play members of an isolated country household that's rocked by the murder of the only bloke in their midst. Who killed the unseen patriarch is of little importance - Ozon's far more interested in encouraging screen-hogging theatrics and accentuating the magnificent artificiality of it all. Shock revelation is piled on top of shock revelation, and he even finds room to crowbar in eight songs ranging from bubblegum pop to tear-jerking balladry.

Don't expect anything resembling reality. Do expect laughs.

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