Friday, March 02, 2012

Les Femmes du 6ème étage / The Women on the 6th Floor

Kvinnorna på sjätte våningen.FR 2011 © 2010 Vendôme Production / France 2 Cinéma / SND. P: Etienne Comar, Philippe Rousselet. D: Philippe Le Guay. SC: Philippe Le Guay, Jérôme Tonnerre. DP: Jean-Claude Larrieu - digital post-production: Éclair Numerique. PD: Pierre-François Limbosch. Set dec: Sabine Delouvrier, Laura Musso. Cost: Christan Gasc. Makeup: Michèle Constantinides. M: Jorge Arriagada. "Itsy bitsy petit bikini" perf. Dalida. S: Vincent Guillon. ED: Monica Coleman. Loc: Paris, 16e Arrondissement (Rue de l'Abbé Gillet, Eglise Notre-Dame de Grâce de Passy), et les quais de la Seine; conclusion: Chincón (Madrid). Casting: Tatiana Vialle. C: Fabrice Luchini (Jean-Louis Joubert), Sandrine Kiberlain (Suzanne Joubert), Natalia Verbeke (María Gonzalez), Carmen Maura (Concepción Ramirez), Lola Dueñas (Carmen), Berta Ojea (Dolores Carbalan), Nuria Solé (Teresa), Concha Galán (Pilar), Marie-Armelle Deguy (Colette de Bergeret), Muriel Solvay (Nicole de Grancourt), Audrey Fleurot (Bettina de Brossolette), Annie Mercier (Mme Triboulet), Michèle Gleizer (Germaine Bronech, la vieille bonne bretonne), Camille Gigot (Bertrand Joubert), Jean-Charles Joubert (Olivier Joubert). 104 min. Released by Atlantic Film with Finnish / Swedish subtitles by Hannele Vahtera. 2K DCP viewed at Maxim 2, Helsinki, 2 March 2012 (day of Finnish premiere).

Technical specs (IMDb): Camera: Red One Camera, Panavision Primo Lenses - Laboratory: Laboratoires Éclair, Paris, France - Source format: Redcode RAW - Printed film format: 35 mm, D-Cinema.

Set in Paris in 1964.

IMDb: "Philippe Le Guay took inspiration from his own childhood. His father was a stockbroker like Jean-Louis Joubert in the film and he himself had a Spanish maid."

A comedy about class society set in the wealthy 16th arrondissement of Paris where Jean-Louis Joubert belongs to a family of stockbrokers well-established since generations. But Jean-Louis who is not newly rich is not snobbish, and he is genuinely fond of the Spanish commedity of immigrant women workers that live in the sixth floor of his house. Jean-Louis is a genuinely nice guy who starts to help the Spaniards in small and big ways.

The film is full of funny and interesting observations. It is based on three kinds of encounters: the class conflict, the encounter of Frenchmen with Spaniards, and the generation clash. The finale is set in 1967, three years after the main story. Jean-Louis has gone through a divorce, his sons are now students living on their own, and Jean-Louis drives to Spain to seek the Spanish maid María whom he hasn't been able to forget. This may be a superfluous wish-fulfillment fairy-tale ending. We have already grasped their mutual appreciation of each other's life force, gentle spirit and dignity.

This basic sympathetic flow makes the film enjoyable. Fabrice Luchini is at his best in a finely nuanced humoristic performance. The Spanish women are a fiery and brave group, never giving up.

The visual experience was all digital: the movie has been digitally shot (Red One) and post-produced (Laboratoires Éclair), and it was projected in 2K DCP. I had no complaint with the visual quality.

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