If the cold evenings of February still force you to stay inside, fear not: this movie review comes into rescue! Indeed, what would be a better way to spend otherwise uneventful Wednesday than watch a feel-good film? Prepare yourselves: snacks – optional, good company – preferred, laughter – guaranteed.
Tired of feeling like a washing machine/dishwasher/cook/cleaning lady? Suzanne Pujol (Catherine Deneuve), the main character of the Franco-Belgian production directed by François Ozon, did! Being a wife of a rich industrialist Robert Pujol (Fabrice Luchini) might sound like a dream come true, but when the man in question treats his wife, children, mistress and workers like a tyrant, it can’t end well. When the workers of the Pujol umbrella empire go on strike, things must change but this time they won’t dance to Robert’s tune. Suzanne is appointed as the new patron of the factory, and to everyone’s surprise, including herself, she proves to be an assertive and confident employer who respects her co-workers. As she puts it, “my management style is warm, fair, human”. Hard to disagree with that! And when an old contact, Maurice Babin (Gerard Depardieu), pays a visit to the Pujols, Suzanne’s destiny is sealed.
While the film by Ozon describes the life in France in 1977, to a certain respect it could be a reflection of today’s society. The battle of the sexes is always topical, and more often than not girls and women are not allowed to pursue their dreams but rather are turned into (or tried to be turned into) domestic goddesses. While ways of thinking might change slowly, someone must start the revolution. This comedy thus contains a powerful message and I hope that, in addition to laughter, it would also make you think.