The Women on the 6th Floor

"Good"

The Women on the 6th Floor Review


Spiky dialog and terrific characters make this French class comedy thoroughly enjoyable, even if there's not much to it. An especially strong cast and energetic direction add a zing if personality to both characters and settings.

In 1962 Paris, wealthy broker Jean-Louis (Luchini) and his wife Suzanne (Kiberlain) live in his family flat, oblivious to the Spanish maids who occupy tiny rooms on the top floor and gather in the park to gossip about their bosses. It's not until Jean-Louis and Suzanne hire new arrival Maria (Verbeke) to work for them that they discover this world of labourers. And Jean-Louis embraces it, finding new satisfaction in helping to make their lives better while flirting quietly with Maria. But Suzanne suspects something else entirely.

With the physical slapstick of the inverted upstairs-downstairs plot, the film often resembles a madcap farce. But it's actually more social satire, poking fun at middle-class people who think being late for the hairdresser is a cataclysm and simply can't imagine a life of quiet desperation. OK, this is rather joyful desperation: these Espanolas are hilariously full of life, bursting with attitude and intensely loyal to each other, unlike Jean-Louis and Suzanne's vile, spoiled sons who turn up now and then from boarding school.

Luchini effortlessly carries us on Jean-Louis' voyage of discovery. He's clearly constrained by a life mapped out by his father, so watching him engage his passion is inspiring. Verbeke is terrific as the strong-willed, sexy Maria, even if their chemistry is a bit unlikely. And the film is stolen by masterful Maura and Duenas, as the mother hen and bitter revolutionary, respectively.

Both are simply wonderful, as always, adding quiet layers to their characters' stories.

Essentially this a film you can sit back and enjoy without needing to think.

There are small moments that offer insight into the characters' social structure, but these are never laid on too thickly. And even the film's coda is a gentle, smiley sequence that drops its (unsurprising) plot bombshell so lightly that most viewers will miss it. Yes, it's pretty corny, but it's also the kind of effortlessly breezy cinema that France does to perfection.



The Women on the 6th Floor

Facts and Figures

Run time: 102 mins

In Theaters: Friday 7th October 2011

Box Office USA: $0.7M

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Production compaines: Vendôme Production, France 2 Cinéma, SND, Canal+

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 66%
Fresh: 43 Rotten: 22

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Philippe Le Guay

Starring: as Jean-Louis Joubert, as Suzanne Joubert, as Maria, as Concepcion, as Carmen, as Dolores


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

45 Years Movie Review

45 Years Movie Review

Like an antidote to vacuous blockbusters, this intelligent, thoughtful drama packs more intensity into a...

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

This biopic gallops through the career of groundbreaking gangsta rappers N.W.A, working its way through...

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

Basically the perfect summer movie, this lightweight drama has a great-looking cast and plenty of...

Sinister 2 Movie Review

Sinister 2 Movie Review

As the ghoul from the 2012 horror hit stalks a new family, this sequel's sharply...

Advertisement
Paper Towns Movie Review

Paper Towns Movie Review

After setting the scene with vivid characters and some insightful interaction, the plot of this...

Vacation Movie Review

Vacation Movie Review

Both the characters and the tone have been updated as a new generation of Grizwolds...

Trainwreck Movie Review

Trainwreck Movie Review

Amy Schumer makes her big screen debut with a script that feels like a much-extended...

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

Adopting a deliciously groovy vibe, Guy Ritchie turns the iconic 1960s TV spy series into...

Advertisement