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Potiche [Blu-ray]

Catherine Deneuve , Gérard Depardieu , François Ozon  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini, Jérémie Renier, Sergi Lopez
  • Directors: François Ozon
  • Writers: François Ozon
  • Format: Subtitled, Widescreen, Color
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Music Box Films Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 19, 2011
  • Run Time: 103 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004ZBFRN0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,354 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A Masterful Central Performance by Grande Dame Deneuve!" --Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

"A Tremendously Elegant Piece of Fun!" --Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian (UK)

"A Love Poem to Catherine Deneuve". It's Made to Please, and Succeeds." --Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

Product Description

Set in 1977 in a provincial French Town, Potiche is a witty and charming comedy starring Catherine Deneuve as Suzanne Pojol, a housebound 'trophy housewife' (or potiche) who steps in to manage the umbrella factory run by her tyranical husband after the workers go on strike. To everyone's surprise, Suzanne proves herself to be a competent and assertive woman of action. Gerard Depardieu plays a union leader and Suzanne's ex-beau who still holds a flame for her. With Potiche, acclaimed writer-director Francois Ozon (Swimming Pool, 8 Women) has created a satrical and hilarious take on the sexes and classes.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A complicated silliness June 11, 2011
By AK
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Potiche pretends to be silly and lighthearted while being rife with undercurrents that threaten to provide deeper meaning to the story. This is colorful and goofy with acting that approaches broad, then withdraws at the verge as if to regard whether the audience is paying attention. At the lead is Catherine Deneuve (Suzanne), who skillfully plays a smart character that has become accustomed to playing dumb all her life. `Potiche' refers to the trophy wife that she has become, married to a ignorant and arrogant man (Robert) who rules an umbrella factory as his own private fiefdom. The factory was built and run for years by Suzanne's father, but he seems to think it was his creation all along. The workers at the umbrella factory strike, Robert storms the protest to give them a good verbal lashing - and is taken hostage. Suzanne is left to negotiate as the head of the factory in his absence with the help of Maurice (Gerard Depardieu), the socialist mayor. While styled as a quick-witted farce, Potiche is filled with conflicting passions. The socialists and capitalists are at each others' throats, men and women battle for financial supremacy (always thinly veiled sexual warfare), and numerous themes regarding globalization, sexual liberation, and gender roles play a supporting part. First and foremost, it is a comedy, and it is a sharp one at that.

Suzanne is the very picture of still waters, though she is none too deep throughout Potiche. She writes simple and silly poems, jogs, and ignores her husband's clumsy infidelities. She is not stupid, however, just bored. Her husband does not have her fooled, for example, since she just prefers to let other women service the idiot with whom she shares the house.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Breezy Yet Surprisingly Moving Comedy July 26, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am already a fan of Francois Ozon, so I expected I would like this film, and indeed I did. Ozon has a very light touch, and although he also makes serious films, I see him as a master of comedy. Throughout his works I can see the influence, visually and in terms of humour, of Pedro Almodovar and the later-phase John Waters. Like Almodovar, Ozon's sets are always impeccably and artistically done, with a fantastic sense of color and good taste. The actors are well-cast and well-utilized in their roles; I especially enjoyed Deneuve, whose portrayal makes use of that light touch that she and Ozon seem to have in common. The look of the "Potiche" is often similar to that of Ozon's comedy "8 Women" that also features fabulously extravagant interiors.

Besides Deneuve--Gerard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini, Karen Viard, Judith Godreche, and Jeremie Renier are standouts as well. The excellent score is done in a style reminiscent of 1970's sitcoms, although not specifically in the American sense. As Madame Pujol's son Laurent, Jeremie Renier is a strangely effeminate supposedly straight guy; it's as if Ozon had him portray the role in this way to play up yet another campy aspect of the film. I found end of the picture to be quite moving, as Madame Pujol finally achieves her ultimate liberation and expresses her love and support for the community she has always been a part of. The final scene features Madame Pujol singing, 'C'est Beau La Vie"; at this point, she seems to be Catherine Deneuve as much as she is her character; but it doesn't matter, and the entire effect brought tears to my eyes. Ozon has a way of making comedies that initially seems superficial and silly, but by the end of the film one becomes aware of a sub-textual rigour as well.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fun January 17, 2012
By DrDave
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A very enjoyable story in the retro- style, very well acted by an outstanding cast. It even manages to keep you guessing as to the outcome.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Denueve as an umbrella factory heiress leads to some charming echoes of one of her earliest (and one of my favorite) films, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, but that charm is wasted on a film that feels more like a sketch or outline than a fully developed story. The characters are flat and the movie just sort of rolls along through the plot points without ever giving the audience a reason to care.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars `Life Is Truly Great' November 25, 2011
Format:DVD
This has been compared to `Made in Dagenham', but I think this is actually much better and whilst they both deal with female empowerment, this one just oozes style. It stars Catherine Deneuve as Suzanne Pujol, who is the trophy wife of Robert. He married her and got her fathers umbrella factory as a dowry, employing three hundred workers. He then became a misogynistic stereo type of the bullying kind that epitomised the early seventies.

His negative attitude spills over to industrial relations and sets him on a collision course with the unions at his factory. They do a wild cat strike, he intervenes and after much wrangling he is released. This is done with the aid of the Communist Mayor, one Maurice Babin (Gerard Depardieu). All of the attention, and it must be said womanising finally catches up with Robert and he has a collapse. In the power vacuum that ensues, Suzanne steps in and takes over.

Set in 1977, there are some great period details, despite IMDB claiming a couple of gaffs like using a song from Bacarra that was not out until 1978, not really a deal breaker. It is beautifully filmed and directed by François Ozon (`Swimming Pool' and `8 women'). We soon discover that Suzanne is a `woman with a past' which makes up for her dumb blond performance at the beginning. This `past' includes the Mayor Maurice. I must say that there is genuine on screen chemistry between Deneuve and Depardieu, but he always seems to be able to pull it off (no pun intended).

There are also sub plots involving the children, a sideways dive into politics and some good comic asides. This though is not a full on comedy, it is a warm gentle film, with a feel good factor that sweeps you along. All of the performances are top notch especially from Fabrice Luchini who plays Robert.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Light, fun amusing
No heavy lifting. Catherine Deneuve is charming but the plot is somewhat disjointed and silly at times. It is a French movie and so the cultural references reflect that.
Published 1 month ago by Veronica Whelan
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love Catherine Deneuve, you will love this film!
Ditzy housewife turns into a dynamic woman... or was she all along? If you're a lady in a rut this film is for you.
Published 1 month ago by delanie
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun movie
A light and fun movie without the classic ending for women. Nice to see older actors getting great parts, the French do light comedy well.
Published 2 months ago by D. Tennant
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Good
This was a fun movie - made for an enjoyable evening. Wonderful to see Catherine Deneuve in anything. Not Oscar material, but definitely enjoyable.
Published 2 months ago by Beach Lady
5.0 out of 5 stars funny and entertaining
i thought the movie was funny and a good a story. the characters were great - each having a distinct personality.
Published 2 months ago by redchokri
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent cast, Potiche is fun and human.
Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu and Fabrice Luchini...what else do I need say? Brilliant, all of them. Class, fun and great together. Plot is good too. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Willie Gatti
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and funny
Very good. Recommend. Serious and comedic at the same time. Inspiring, especially for women. A lesson of optimism and understanding.
Published 2 months ago by J.K.
4.0 out of 5 stars Improved working environment.
A good movie, demonstrating how progress can be made, when the employer and employees work together for the good of their company.
Published 2 months ago by Kenneth L williams
4.0 out of 5 stars Would have loved it if Gerard wasn't in it!
Actually, it was quite enjoyable and great to see how lovely Catherine Deneuve still looks! Fun movie and following the subtitles weren't a problem at all.
Published 2 months ago by Doglover
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet movie that keeps your attention
I really enjoyed seeing these French stars in this warm comedy. It moves swiftly and has lots of little subplots. Lots of 70s details in the clothing, house, etc.! Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amanda Prischak
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