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Potiche

Year: 2010
Production Co: Mardarin Films
Director: Francois Ozon
Writer: Francois Ozon
Cast: Catherine Denevue, Gerard Depardieu

The title is French for trophy wife, and the trophy wife of the title is played by the seemingly immortal Catherine Denevue, who French movie fans will know very well.

She's the wife of a rich industrialist in the late 70s who takes over the family-owned umbrella making business when he falls ill and she finds a very hostile workforce always on the verge of striking because of how terribly her husband's been treating them.

She embarks on a campaign of engagement and before long turns everything around with profits up and the workers happy. When her cad husband wants to come back to work she doesn't want to give it up, realising she's never been anything but a trophy wife as the title suggests.

At the same time she's trying to resist rekindling a romance with an old flame (Gerard Depardieu – I think it's the law that if you make a movie in France you have to reserve a part for him and have Canal+ somewhere in the studio credits.

It's worth seeing because it's hard right now as I write this review to find movies that aren't about superheroes or CGI battles. A large part of it's concerned with the l'amour French films specialise in, with no violence and some unobtrusive laughs. I was intrigued because it's from Francois Ozon, the director behind the haunting Swimming Pool and the gorgeous 5x2.

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