This is a life enhancing film, and I cannot even begin to comprehend why it has been called trashy. Catherine Deneuve gives one of her greatest performances, and a mention must be made of Mylene Demongeot. During the one scene she was in she almost stole the film for me. For those who have never heard of her get hold of a copy of ' The Witches of Salem ' with Simone Signoret and Yves Montand. She stole the film back in the 50's and she can still do it now. But it is Deneuve who shows that she has total control of the film in a life affirming role. She wants to live, and live she does to the limit of her joy and her endurance. Anybody who may think this was an easy role to play and succeed is an idiot. She shows herself as she is now and the beauty, the power of presence and the way each gesture and look of the eye advances the film is a miracle of acting. Catherine Frot is excellent and France has yet another powerful actor and I hope she is given equally good roles for a long time to come. Above all I did not find the film distressing. Life is distressing and the film has the strength of will to show that it can be painful from birth until death. But between these two inevitable events of our lives we live, messily, cleanly, hurting people and being hurt. This illusion that Deneuve is a taker and not a giver in the film is simplistic. She needs a lot from others. She shows it and she gives when she can, and watch how through the force of her nature she releases Catherine Frot from a certain primness; makes her smile, lets down her hair. A great film and the title in English may put off many. ' Sage femme ' does mean midwife, but there is still the resonance in the the French title of wisdom and a wisdom life can bring.