Directed by Francois Ozon.
Written by Marina de Van and Francois Ozon.
Starring Catherine Deneuve, Virginie Ledoyen and Ludivine
Release Year: 2002
Review Date: 10/20/02
Hey, I’ll catch a Frenchie film every so
often, and this past weekend, I caught up with “8 Women.” Sure, I
think Emmanuelle Béart is pretty hot, but I really wanted to see
this because I think Catherine Deneuve is hot!!
Okay, seriously. “8 Women” is kind of a
IT’S A MUSICAL!!!!
Many of you remember my trashing of the
horrible, atrocious, worst-Best Picture-nominee-of-all-time
Rouge.” However, I like musicals that are thoughtfully done and
don’t give me headaches after leaving the theater, and “8 Women”
fits the bill with some wacky singing sequences featuring the eight
stars of the adaptation of the stage production. The cast is great—Béart
and Deneuve have crossover success on their resumes, and the film’s
other stars—including Virginie Ledoyen from
“The Beach” as Suzon and
Fanny Ardant from “Elizabeth”—have been around the circuit as well,
so one gets the sense that this is just a killer cast even if you
are a casual filmgoer. And, by adapting this film from the stage,
the sets are kept very simple and the filmmakers do a great job of
making the house feel bigger than it really is. As an added bonus,
this is one of the only films of the year that has a
There really aren’t too many negatives; the
murder mystery that is the heart of the story takes too long to be
divulged and two of the songs just aren’t as strong as the opening
number. Being a gringo that took 10 years of French and can now
barely say “My name is Justin” in the language, I was trying to
follow some of the songs without looking at the subtitles but found
that to be tough-going. As such, keeping up with the lyrics while
watching the song-and-dance routines was difficult and made me real
sleepy by the end of the night. It seems like every time I go to
see a chatty foreign film I come within inches of falling totally
dead-asleep. Of course, I’ll take that over a bad dub job of the
soundtrack, but still...there has just got to be a good middle
ground for this stuff!!
“8 Women” is pretty solid, though. And, for
a film that doesn’t have any real violence, action, sex scenes or
profane comedy, I was one pretty entertained guy!!
Rating: $9.00 Show
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Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard