19th century. Madeleine leaves her country life to become a nurse in Paris.



(original screenplay), (with the partial use of ideas by)
3 wins. See more awards »


Credited cast:
Mme Dumayet-Ponti
Emilie Lafarge ...
Solange Dumayet
Valérie Vogt ...
La laitière
Alexandre Cross ...
Alexandre Dumayet
Sacha Briquet ...
Le docteur Morel
Olivier Saladin ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lionel Abelanski ...
Maurice Antoni ...
Maitre d'hôtel
Marie Bariller ...
Mme De Lignac
Prètre Morvan
Mathieu Bisson ...
M. de Lignac
Élodie Bollée ...
Denis Braccini ...
Père Madeleine


19th century. Madeleine leaves her country life to become a nurse in Paris.

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Release Date:

28 December 2004 (France)  »

Also Known As:

La nodriza  »

Filming Locations:

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User Reviews

Great original script brings history to life
15 January 2005 | by (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Though the title refers to nurse maids, and that is indeed a major theme in this film, the story of the nurse maid in question is the essence of the film. In focusing on her life and times, the customs, inventions and issues back then become a bewitching history lesson.

The title character becomes a nurse maid as a way out of many problems country women had back then. Once in the city, she finds out that there are even more challenges waiting for her there. She must not only confront her family's determination to keep her away from her true love and make her marry another man, but she must sell her body as a cash cow, literally. Pasteur was just introducing his new process to preserve milk safely as the story progresses, so selling mother's milk as a profession was at its peak.

It was also a new era for women, as they demanded new rights and learned to read. The lure of the colonies is also very evident, as opium trade from the Orient, and dreams of a new life in Algeria flourished among the population. Many other bits and pieces, too many to mention, from this time period are woven into the story very naturally. Without noticing it, one is getting a wonderful history lesson, which is not all preachy or even obvious.

The cast is wonderful, especially Marthe Keller in a role made to fit for her as a domineering and cruel matriarch. The sets, costumes and cinematography are breathtaking. The film is just long enough to tell its various story lines, and never bores. Definitely recommended, and not just to history buffs or period piece lovers.

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