The snow I featured in my photos the other day has turned to ice, and our little cul-de-sac has transformed into a skating rink. Too dangerous to contemplate shifting the car. So what could be more appropriate than to seize the chance to watch a film set in a snowbound mansion?
This is 8 Women, aka 8 Femmes, and I became aware of it thanks to the very informative comments by Philip and Bob Cornwell in relation to my recent post about the play Trap for a Lonely Man, written by Robert Thomas. Thomas also wrote the play on which 8 Women is based, although the credits say that the movie ‘liberally adapted’ it, and this I can well believe.
In fact, the film version followed more than 40 years after its theatrical source, and my guess is that director Francois Ozon utilised Thomas’s clever multiple plot twists, whilst turning them into something Thomas never expected: a send-up of a classic, Christiesque scenario, - with songs! The resultant mish-mash of murder and music is weird, but very watchable – especially because the cast is quite dazzling. It includes Danielle Darrieux, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Fanny Ardant, and Emmanuelle Beart, an extraordinary wealth of glamour and talent.
The eponymous eight women are all potential suspects in the murder of Marcel, a lecherous businessman on the verge of bankruptcy. Poor old Marcel never gets to utter a word, but it doesn’t matter because the women occupy all our attention, fighting amongst themselves, and embarking on voyages of self-discovery. Fun viewing, and a good way to spend a snowbound evening.