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8 WOMEN

"There is no good reason to see '8 Women,' FranALois Ozon's sumptuous and rigorous derangement of plausibility, coherence and proper taste. But who ever went to the movies for good reasons?...'8 Women' is indefensible, cynical, even grotesque; it is also pure--that is to say innocent and uncorrupted--fun...you find yourself drawn helplessly into the loopy, nonsensical story with strangely fretful anticipation...The eight women of '8 Women' submit to the indignities of slapstick, of maudlin music, of betrayal, shame and brokenheartedness and then magically return to form, speaking perfect bourgeois prose, immaculately coifed and attired. They never lose face; with those faces, how could they?" --
A.O. Scott, The New York Times


"Put simply, it is a cocktail: a hot-hued, postmodern, nieteen-fifties murder-mystery musical hen party. You may be left with doubts about Ozon as a director, but one thing is for sure: he'd make a hell of a bartender...this film is not quite the frozen and brittle comedy that it appears to be, and, if you can stomach it the first time, you may experience a baffling wish to see it again--to inspect this crystalline curiosity form another angle." -- Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

"The film is pervaded by that kind of campy sensibility that pretends to adore women but actually despises them. It is in the service of this misogynistic sensibility that Ozon humiliates some of France's most treasured actresses...The embarrassingly choreographed, awkwardly lip-synced song-and-dance sequences that punctuate the half-jokey melodrama are simply excruciating, with the deadly, self-conscious vibe of a bad grade-school play. This incompetence may be deliberate, but it isn't funny or clever." --Jonathan Foreman, The New York Post

"'8 Women' delivers just what the title promises. FranALois Ozon's new comedy-thriller-musical-romance boasts as glamorous a cast of fabulous French actresses as any stargazer could wish for...Ozon enjoys paying tribute to other directors, and '8 Women' is his half-sincere, half-teasing homage to vintage thrillers, Hollywood musicals, and TV soap operas, which also seduce audiences with beautiful faces, eye-filling outfits, and plot twists where defying credibility is half the fun." -- David Sterrit, Christian Science Monitor

"For '8 Women,' the young director FranALois Ozon has congregated some of the greatest actresses in French cinema--but having gotten his women, like too many men, he doesn't know what to do with them...The excuse for this confabulation of chic is a genre pastiche that looks something like Douglas Sirk and plays out a bit like Agatha Christie...Although it starts off vaguely amusing, '8 Women' grows progressively sour, curdled by the filmmakers' bad faith and lack of compassion...if Ozon has picked up on the excesses of Sirk's style, he has mistaken the Hollywood auteur's ironic detachment for wholesale cynicism." -- Manohla Dargis, The Los Angeles Times