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Where Is Madame Catherine? (2003)

Les mans buides (original title)
The center of this universe, located in a French village close to Catalonia, is Éric, a mechanic of little brilliance who secretly decides to bury the corpse of Madame Catherine, an old ... See full summary »


1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dominique Marcas ...
Madame Catherine
Jérémie Lippmann ...
Jeanne Favre ...
Antoine Pereniguez ...
Le contrôleur
Sébastien Viala ...
Rajko Nikolic ...
Monsieur Georges
Mireille Perrier ...
Michèle Carbonnel ...
Caissière supermarché
Pierre Berriau ...
Luis Hostalot ...
Francesc Tollet ...


The center of this universe, located in a French village close to Catalonia, is Éric, a mechanic of little brilliance who secretly decides to bury the corpse of Madame Catherine, an old neighbor, when she died after one of her ethyl excesses. All the characters revolve around the mechanic in a charming and chaotic world. Written by jsanchez

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Release Date:

5 September 2003 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Las manos vacías  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| | (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Composed by Dominique A.
Written by Dominique A.
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User Reviews

tres, tres, terrible
24 October 2003 | by (jerusalem, israel) – See all my reviews

In all fairness, honesty and 'reson datre', I must point out that i don't speak French at all (i don't even know what "reson datre" means) and maybe some of the "jokes" in the film (which nobody outside the screen seem to find amusing) were mistranslated to English.

Nevertheless, lack of plot and terrible pacing got nothing to do with translation and this film is probably the best example of "how not to make a movie" in every possible aspect.

The "plot" of the movie revolves around Yann, a mechanic who leads some twisted friendship with a disgruntled old woman called Madame Catherine. This friendship consists entirely of getting drunk and acting like idiots.

The friendship comes to an abrupt end when Catherine dies (of boredom, probably) halfway through the film and Yann hides that fact from neighbors of the village they live in for some reason (building suspense, maybe).

Basically, I try not to be too aggressive in my reviews (even for lousy flicks) not due to my kind and loving nature but because when I hate certain films I still try to make the distinction between bad films and good films I didn't like because they didn't appeal to me, personally (for example, I can't stand "Moulin rouge" but I acknowledge its pacing and setting traits).

Les maines vides doesn't belong to the latter kind because the plot which can't hold a 15 minute flick,is stretched across 130 tormenting minutes.

Thin plot isn't this movie's only flaw, it seems that the scenes were arranged in a completely random order since the transitions between them are awkward at best, the dialogue rarely exists and most of the time the characters don't converse at all but rather sit in a dilapidated house in rural france waiting for the plot to twist.

In the name of balance and fair criticism, i will note that the music is great (i might actually acquire the soundtrack if i'll ever come across it), also the acting is usually very credible and reserved so the movie is not all bad.

It's bad enough to avoid at all costs, though.

1 out of 10 in my FilmOmeter.

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