Thursday, 31 March 2011

Les femmes du 6e étage

My only previous experience of French cinema was a truly abstract movie I saw when I was at Uni.  It wasn't very good and I've long since forgotten what it was about. 

On the weekend I watched The Women on 6th Floor as part of the French Film Festival. I was pleased to discover that in addition to the abstract and soft porn, the French can make some genuinely good films too.

The movie was set in one of Paris' gorgeous baroque apartment buildings in the 1960s. It was a twist on the classic upstairs / downstairs story. Upstairs on the 6th floor were the Spanish maids who  were taking over from their French counterparts, no longer prepared to work in such menial jobs. Downstairs  was an elegant Parisienne couple, a stock broker and his socialite housewife.

The focus is on Jean-Louise, the master of the house, and his new maid Maria who rather inevitably fell in love. I really enjoyed the intrigue, character development and subtle twists and turns of the film. It's pretty slowed paced, but absorbing nonetheless. You don't often hear me say that about a movie.

The French Film Festival has now finished, but I'd recommend seeing it if you can.

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