Ozon couldn't get the rights to remake Cukor's The Women, and so he fell upon a forgotten boulevard-theatre mystery by one Robert Thomas as a vehicle for divas of all ages. The play is an Agatha Christie knock-off set in the 1950s: all eight women stuck in a snowbound country house had motives for killing the patriarch Marcel, whose corpse lies upstairs. Ozon re-runs all his strategies from Water Drops on Burning Rocks: he wallows in homages to Hollywood melodramas, plays up the theatricality of all, and gives each diva one vintage French pop song to perform, to express her character's inner feelings. It's never boring, and sometimes quite bracing: the moment when Deneuve hits Darrieux over the head with a bottle lingers in the memory. But the material is hopelessly thin and the package is too obviously calculated to hit box-office gold. And this is a style of camp so broad that even the most bovine straight can get it.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||François Ozon, Marina de Van|