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8 Women (2002)
"8 femmes" (original title)

7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 20,357 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 158 user | 125 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

One murdered man, eight women, each seeming to be more eager than the others to know the truth. Gimme, gimme, gimme some clues to make up my mind. And eventually enter the truth. Oh, thou cruel woman!

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Title: 8 Women (2002)

8 Women (2002) on IMDb 7.1/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Firmine Richard ...
Dominique Lamure ...
Marcel, the husband
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Storyline

One morning at an isolated mansion in the snowy countryside of 1950s France, a family is gathered for the holiday season. But there will be no celebration at all because their beloved patriarch has been murdered! The killer can only be one of the eight women closest to the man of the house. Was it his powerful wife? His spinster sister-in-law? His miserly mother-in-law? Maybe the insolent chambermaid or the loyal housekeeper? Could it possibly have been one of his two young daughters? A surprise visit from the victim's chic sister sends the household into a tizzy, encouraging hysterics, exacerbating rivalries, and encompassing musical interludes. Comedic situations arise with the revelations of dark family secrets. Seduction dances with betrayal. The mystery of the female psyche is revealed. There are eight women and each is a suspect. Each has a motive. Each has a secret. Beautiful, tempestuous, intelligent, sensual, and dangerous...one of them is guilty. Which one is it? Written by Anthony Pereyra <hypersonic91@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

secret | industrialist | cook | suspect | maid | See more »

Taglines:

Living in a house full of women can be murder.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

20 September 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

8 femmes  »

Box Office

Budget:

€8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£113,126 (UK) (29 November 2002)

Gross:

£352,581 (UK) (13 December 2002)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Louise shows a photo of her former employer, it is a picture of Romy Schneider. See more »

Goofs

On two occasions the ladies refer to the gun as a revolver but it is clearly a semi-automatic pistol. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[in French, using English subtitles]
Suzon: I'm going in, Mom.
See more »

Connections

References Vertigo (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Pile ou face
(I toss a coin)
Music and Lyrics by Jean-Louis d'Onofrio
Sung by Emmanuelle Béart
See more »

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User Reviews

 
These ladies kick ass!
20 August 2003 | by (Erlangen, Germany) – See all my reviews

'8 Women' is a rather unique film. On the surface it is the probably only entry in the genre of the grotesque whodunit-musical. But actually, it's a huge playground - for the actresses who get the chance to play with the stereotypes attached to them, and for director François Ozon to toy with the clichés of the whodunit.

Here's the setup: 1950s. A beautiful mansion. A man is found lying in his bed with a knife in his back. The possible suspects: His wife, his two daughters, his sister, his mother-in-law, his sister-in-law, the chambermaid and the cook. As these eight women can't leave the estate or call the police, they try to find the murderer themselves. We know this situation from countless Agatha Christie-stories.

But what Ozon makes of this situation is just incredible. It already begins with the casting: Who else could play the gentrified Gaby if not Catherine Deneuve? Is there any actress who would fit more perfectly for the role of the spinsterish sister than Isabelle Huppert? Who else would you want to walk around in that dress of a chambermaid than the most desirable Emmanuelle Béart? The actresses are eagerly playing with the stereotypes that surround them because of both, the roles they played and their private lives.

Then there's the story: All whodunits have those obligatory scenes where the motives of all characters are revealed. '8 Women' takes that formula and deliberately goes over the top with it, it's characters are unfaithful, pregnant, lesbian, poisoners and many things more. And as a final twist, the film stops eight times to give each of its protagonists a chance to reveal her true character in a scene entirely devoted to them - singing and dancing. There is also another scene worth mentioning that is entirely dedicated to the actresses: A scene with a lot of dialog that entirely consists of nothing but a series of closeups - and that for about three minutes.

Cinephiles can enjoy this film on even another level: The film is filled with references to beloved classics. Consider Fanny Ardant's musical number, which pays homage to Rita Hayworth's glove-strip in 'Gilda', and another Rita Hayworth-moment so wonderful I won't reveal it here. Consider Emmanuelle Béarts hairstyle that echoes Kim Novak in 'Vertigo'. Consider the fact that the late husband of the Dannielle Darrieux character was a general, reminding us of 'Madame de...'. Or consider the painting of the young Catherine Deneuve hanging in one room - a replica of a 'Belle de jour'-poster. All this is supported by the rich, colorful cinematography, the art direction and the costumes, that give the entire film a 1950s look.

But attention: If you give this film a chance, don't expect it to be logically consistent. It isn't. But that doesn't matter at all. The murder mystery story is replaceable. The film is entirely devoted to its brilliant actresses and the wonderful, bitchy dialog they exchange. It's great fun and it is getting better with every viewing.


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