Potiche means “trophy wife,” and that’s exactly what screen legend Catherine Deneuve is at the start of the latest movie by French director François Ozon. Deneuve, Ozon, and Gérard Depardieu play both to and against their types in this slight, frothy, and occasionally amusing story, set in 1977, of a woman who takes over her husband’s gloomy business after he lands in the hospital. Surprise! She turns it into a moneymaking venture. The director’s playful style and candy-colored imagery recall 1970s battle-of-the-sexes comedies, but the movie’s period themes – women’s rights is the big one – come off quaint. Better to just watch these old pros have some fun with the light script and an old-fashioned idealism that went out of style with movies like this.
Director: François Ozon
Writer: Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Grédy
Producer: Eric Altmeyer and Nicolas Altmeyer
Cast: Gérard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve, Judith Godrèche, Jérémie Renier, Fabrice Luchini, Karin Viard, Évelyne Dandry and Sinead Shannon Roche