April 20, 2011

Potiche (France 2010)

It's been a long way for Catherine Deneuve from the fragile young girl who works in an umbrella shop in "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" to the confident woman who co-owns an umbrella factory in "Potiche". The same could be said for director Francois Ozon whose latest work doesn't bear much resemblance to his edgy, occasionally brilliant early short films. And it is certainly a 180 degree turn from his previous film "Le refuge" - which might also be the reason why he chose to adapt a rather trivial stage comedy from 1980.

Deneuve on the other hand was never considered a serious actress but she always had another quality: screen presence. Never more so than in "Potiche" where she dominates every scene she's in and steals the show from her male counterparts, French acting legends Gerard Depardieu and Fabrice Luchini. It's fair to say that the still beautiful Deneuve matured as a person and as an actress in a positive way. Unfortunately the same thing can't be said about the director. Francois Ozon, widely regarded as one of the most talented and interesting of France's contemporary directors, seems to be getting nowhere lately. And while "Potiche" displays some of his trademark eye for style (this time dedicated to 70s retro kitsch) and strong female characters, it is - despite some references to current French politics - never more than amusing.

Which would be perfectly fine by the standard of the average French director, but from someone like Francois Ozon we should expect a little more than that...


Yes, that's "la Deneuve" wearing an Adidas jogging suit

No comments:

Post a Comment