Screw Netflix Instant!
I’m back on the Netflix DVD train, the only place where you can reliably depend on an eclectic collection of movies in the U.S.
This afternoon with a glass of Chocolate Gin cocktail in my hand and fried peanuts seasoned with curry leaves, grated ginger and coriander perched on a nearby wobbly stool I sat down to watch the French film The Women on the 6th Floor.
Don’t ask how or why I picked this one.
Just attribute it to my partiality for European films.
Set in the early 1960s (well, 1962 if you persnickety types insist on precision), Les femmes du 6ème étage (The Women on the 6th Floor) is the epitome of charm.
Like a lot of European films, it’s hard to pigeonhole The Women on the 6th Floor into a clear category.
There’s a hazy political backdrop to the movie in terms of classes (employers/’Bosses’ vs employees), some talk of Franco and the Spanish Civil War, a bit of religion, a big dollop of comedy and, of course, love as the underpinning.
Quite a kichdi, isn’t it?
Ah, I almost forgot – Full nudity.
Alas, only the rear + side view.
Well, we’ll take our blessings as they come.
Hey, shedding clothes is part of the French charm like yodeling champestanu (kill you) in a Telugu film.
Solid Cast, Offbeat Story
Philippe Le Guay directed the movie and also shared co-writing honors with Jérôme Tonnerre. The film debuted in 2010, and most likely had a limited release in the U.S.
After watching several hundred movies over the last 10 years, I’ve reached the enlightened conclusion that the fate of a movie is sealed before the first roll of the camera.
Yes, even before the first frame is shot a movie’s destiny can be foretold.
Just glance at the script.
The magic of great, weighty scripts is that they often tend to attract fine actors.
Often they may not be recognizable names or stars but you can be sure they pack powerful acting chops.
Like for instance the fine group of maids in Women on the 6th Floor.
And atop the solid cast stands Fabrice Luchini.
A remarkable French actor, Fabrice Luchini adds ballast to the ‘maids’ and the solid script of Women of the 6th Floor.
Luchini plays Jean-Louis Joubert, the wealthy owner of a stock-broking firm.
A stuffy character with a snooty wife and two snootier kids, Joubert’s life changes, oh so dramatically, when the family hires Maria, a recent immigrant to Paris from Spain, as the new maid.
Maria (the Argentine actress Natalia Verbeke) lives with the other Spanish maids on the sixth floor of Joubert’s home.
Unlike Joubert’s elegant home a la that any of the ‘Bosses,’ the maids quarters on the sixth floor is in distressing shape – small rooms, a clogged, stinking toilet, no heating, no wash basins etc.
Rich life of the privileged classes vs the hard life of the deprived masses?
Yes, but there’s more, so much more to Women on the 6th Floor than a depiction of the different lifestyles between the classes and the masses.
Joubert discovers a better inner self with the help of the beautiful Maria and her fellow Spanish maids.
Comic, sad, occasionally touching and always classy, Women on the 6th Floor is a beautiful movie with a theme so offbeat that it’s a credit to the writers for just conjuring it.
SearchIndia.com strongly recommends Women on the 6th Floor.