Madame (2017) Poster

(2017)

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7/10
Do we really need another "Maid in Manhattan"?
ngegir-9632113 April 2018
I feel that 'Madame' needs a few words spoken in its defence.

Trying to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, this is a lovely, bitter-sweet little dramedy, unusual in its ending. And this latter element is precisely what is charming about it. It is not just another Disney-like, implausible, 'Cinderella' story of the type Hollywood throws up at us with admirable frequency. Though by far not a masterpiece, and in search of a character, being not quite a drama, nor quite a comedy, the ending makes it stand out.

In my view, the ending is perfect, precisely because it is more realistic, it feels more real. Characters who live in a false world (keeping thin by forcefully throwing up, or organising luxurious parties while being on the verge of bankruptcy) remain in their false world, continuing to suffer in their gilded cages. Is that not the perfect punishment? People who were always dignified, who had self-respect and a certain untouched morality, retain their dignity, their esteem in their own eyes and in the eyes of the audience. Is that not an effective ending? There is no necessity to always have the same reversal of roles, easily served and so easily digested, dispensed with and forgotten.

Every time a script goes out of the usual, overused Hollywood trope, audiences start to bitch and moan at how awful this is, how unsatisfied they are. I have a strong feeling, that if it had the ending everyone is so anxious for, these same people would say: 'Well, where's the novelty in that? We've seen that before'. Haven't we seen enough 'Maids in Manhattan'? Do we really need yet another fairly empty romance story with the usual players - the low-born or low-placed but (always!) beautiful girl, the quirky, but ridiculous best friend, the rich and powerful stud who crosses the social divide for love, etc? Such films are sweet, but outside their very narrow romantic premise, sweet as that may be, they say very little both about society, and about the people in it, their character, their self-perception, their understanding of the world around them. Madame has something to say about these things. It says these things with much less panache than 'Remains of the Day', but it is closer to the real world of today than other romantic comedies.

No, I do not consider 'Madame' a masterpiece. Nor do I feel it wants to be such. If its aims are modest, they are still interesting and valid, and if the satire and social commentary are modest, this does not make them necessarily more ineffective. Perhaps giving it a 7 is too henerous (or, depending on ones perspective and understanding, not generous enough). Yet I feel the ending does merit recognition, and if I gave the rest a six, the ending pulls in a star on its own.
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4/10
Starts well but then disappoints
Frame-By-Frame29 April 2018
The premise of this movie appealed to me and as usual the trailer drew me in. The cinematography was superb and most of the acting spot on. So what was the problem? In my opinion this was not a good movie. Initially I put this down to the very unsatisfactory ending. It's as if the writer couldn't decide how to end it. Had a few ideas and picked the worse one. However, retrospectively I can see a small justification for that ending and I now think the real reason I didn't like the movie generally was because it just wasn't funny enough to warrant being a comedy. Neither was it interesting enough to be a good drama. Not one laugh out loud during the entire 91 minutes, just a few subdued smiles. My rating 4.5/10 Not recommended
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2/10
Abandons four plot lines
redhandmoto13 April 2018
As though the electric bill hadn't been paid, four plot lines and the entire movie gets cut off and credits roll 4/5ths of the way through the film. Otherwise - Toni Collette was dreadful, mugging her lines grotesquely. Rossy de Palma was wonderful, Harvey Keitel was ... professional, but played his character as oddly resigned, as though he was aware that the story was going to get clotheslined Great sound track Why was the mess released?
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3/10
Fails at the final third.
carolethecatlover13 June 2017
Rossy de Palma, Toni Collette, Harvey Keitel, Paris....What could go wrong? Well, the story and the ending.

The first two-thirds are hilarious and set the scene (gorgeously) then it falls off a cliff, ceases to be a comedy or even a drama, and for the last third is in search of an ending. The final is unsatisfactory in every respect. This could have been great. What happened? Did somebody snatch the script out of the hands of the author/director and insist someone else write it? Whatever, it does not work. All the actors are brilliant, the Paris is a Paris unseen in previous films. The cinematography is wonderful. The story, like the curate's egg, is good in parts, the first parts...... I was in the 2nd audience to see this at the Sydney Film Festival and the director, Amanda Sthers, gave a Q and A in a charming French accent but she stated that is the ending she wanted. But there was a lot of justification. Coulda been a contender.
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A comedy that ends in an unexpected manner
Gordon-1122 December 2017
This film tells the story of a maid who fills in as a guest in her employer's dinner party. A wealthy art dealer falls for her, and a tricky situation ensues.

Even though it is a comedy, I actually feel bittersweet. It is great that the maid has her moments to shine, but I really hoped for that particular ending. After all, as a character in the film says, everyone hopes for it, so I certainly hope for it too. It is funny in the beginning but changes drastically in the end.
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3/10
Amateurish film - complete waste of time
kelvinreu26 December 2017
I am attracted to off beat film genre but this one just did not cut it. The movie starts off OK and then gets disjointed with basic 101 directorial omissions which throw you completely, a dinner table scene is preceded with the guests arriving and being welcomed by the hosts with the obligatory kissing and hugging, detailed conversation groups are filmed with dinner table natter at some length, suddenly there is a surprising shot of a child sitting at the table who has not been seen in preceding scenes, he seems to have been added to the movie as an afterthought. The plot is a series of illogical sequences not stitched together by proper direction, the director appears to have replied on the gravitas of Harvey Keitel to smooth over this lack of synchronicity which of course is insufficient glue to stick this mess together.
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8/10
it happens everywhere...
palomaserranoyolivo16 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I Truly loved this movie, it was just what it was, entertainment and in Mexico I did hear people laughing a lot...As a Mexican with lots of foreign friends, I could see the maid being herself and natural and not trying to fit or change her accent, not understanding when people jajaja or jojojo.. Tony Collete being the snob boss, that was once a simple golf teacher that got lucky and had it harder to climb the ladder and be accepted? is now jealous to see that her maid being herself, doesn't have it difficult to be liked and be loved... we can see this on the everyday life... be yourself and be accepted and people will hate you and be envious...you can have everything in life, even a house in Paris and a super toned body but you just don't inspire love...

But as the movie said... "people" want happy endings or at least closure or explanations... and even if they didn't stay together, why not saying what she told David?

She clearly didn't say she was the maid, I don't think he would have cared... she probably said she was a prostitute?

It teaches another lesson... don't treat servants like they don't exist, be aware and nice to everyone next to you... I think he didn't even see her in the last scene... and she lost all of her confidence by not saying something...

Ahhh so good but left me a bit sad and disappointed...
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7/10
a slow-burning comedy of inflated egos and a Cinderella dream
CineMuseFilms31 August 2017
The comedy of manners genre uses satire to expose the rituals and affectations that pass for social politeness. Driven by witty dialogue and characterisation, it laughs at the best and worst in human behaviour. A good example is the comedy drama Madame (2017) that blends themes of race and class in a charming Cinderella tale of self-discovery.

The plot line is deceptively straightforward. Pretentious American couple Anne (Toni Collette) and Bob (Harvey Keitel) have rented an elegant manor in trendy Paris to impress their friends and clients. On the eve of a 'spare-no-expense' formal dinner a guest cancels, leaving the dinner table with an odd number of guests. Anne instructs her shy servant Maria (Rossy de Palma) to make up the number, pretend to be a Spanish lady friend, and say very little. After a few drinks, Maria becomes outgoing and is noticed by British art broker David (Michael Smiley) who is convinced she is a mysterious aristocrat. To Anne's horror they begin seeing each other despite desperate attempts to stop them.

Woven into this simple plot is a portrait of a lowly maid hoping to be loved for who she is, not what she does. Her nemesis is Anne, the wicked witch who wants to keep her in place. While Keitel and Smiley competently fill their supporting roles, the emotional energy comes entirely from the two female stars. Collette portrays scandalised with consummate bitchery as she engineers what she calls a 'slow-motion car crash' and de Palma does a heart-warming rendition of the maid who dares to hope. Brilliantly filmed in Parisian locations, its narrative twists and turns play on themes of class ritual and racial stereotype. The script is at times laboured with trite references to knowing one's place, but it is de Palma who keeps the story alive. She uses those big innocent eyes to convey how it feels to suddenly believe that someone really loves you, all while being oblivious to the masquerade into which she has been thrust. De Palma's unconventional aesthetics become a device to highlight the deeper values of kind-hearted character and the superficiality of skin-deep beauty.

This slow-burning comedy is a study of inflated egos and natural humility. Its minimal plot allows the focus to stay on the battle between primal feminine drives, one stopping at nothing to preserve the social order, the other swept up in a Cinderella dream. Not all fairy tales have conclusive endings and nor does this one. But it has enough laughter and warm-hearted moments to be worth watching despite its BYO ending.
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6/10
I never write bad reviews, but I feel I have to comment on this one...
DangerManTX9 December 2017
Well I am annoyed. Just watched the movie, and what was a pretty good film had a really crappy ending. Toni is a real hypocrite and total bitch in the movie, you really want her utter snobbery to be her undoing. Problem with trying to make a movie like French Cinema, is that it is unsatisfying for an American audience. The ending is plain bad. I gave the movie a 6/10, that seems fair to me, since it goes nowhere and the ending is just not good. Really annoys me to see a good movie end so badly. Worth watching for Harvey Keitel, but I totally hated the character Toni Collete is playing, she is without mercy and an utter snob. Ironic that she claims to be a Democrat in the movie. The Director should have delivered a better ending. Can't believe that's it.
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5/10
Variations of servitude and dreams
gradyharp6 June 2018
In this almost one-woman show Amanda Sthers wrote the story, the screenplay, the adaptation (with Matthew Robbins), and directed this biting farce about wealth and values and prejudices and love etc. Largely due to a fine cast of actors this slight film works though it does wander a bit and leaves some plot lines unfinished.

Adding a little spice to a waning marriage, Anne and Bob (Toni Collette and Harvey Keitel), a wealthy and well-connected American couple, move into a manor house in romantic Paris. While preparing a particularly luxurious dinner for sophisticated international friends, our hostess Anne discovers there are thirteen guests. Panic-stricken, Anne insists her loyal maid Maria (Almodovar favorite actress Rossy de Palma) disguise herself as a mysterious Spanish noble woman to even out the numbers. But a little too much wine, and some playful chat, lead Maria to accidentally endear herself to a dandy British art broker (Michael Smiley). Their budding romance will have Anne chasing her maid around Paris and finally plotting to destroy this most unexpected and joyous love affair. The subplot of art dealing is left unresolved as is the final resolution of Maria hopes for lasting love.

Toni Collette is, as usual, a pleasure to watch - all innuendoes and snappy dialog and looks that melt other characters. Rossy de Palma is terrific and the remainder of the cast lives up to the very slight story demands that never quite get off the ground (or finishes).
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7/10
I saw the end differently
boydwalters4 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Collette gets complicated passive aggressive rich bitch to a tee ... Keitel is regal ... But this is Rossy de Palmas' movie ... She is just marvellous At times very funny, the film never shies away from the underlying savagery and self obsession that has to be in a character to get them and keep them in the sort of lifestyle that Anne and Bob live Michael Smiley's character starts his relationship with de Palma based on the understanding that she is prime aristocracy, but the truth may not have killed the relationship eventually Collettes character certainly tries, with a conversation that pulls away from us and we never hear what is actually said But I don't think that that was necessarily the end for them Someone mentioned Smiley's character ignoring de Palma as she serves tea and cakes to him and Collette, but the fact is he never looks at her, he is talking to Collette, he would not of imagined her being there ( unless Collette did tell him that it hadn't been a joke that she was her long time maid, but that is another story/possibility ) So when Rossy is walking away at the end, I choose to think David accidentally catches up with her and they go for lunch and maybe sort it out ... I want the happy ending :) x
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10/10
Wonderful, incredibly funny and moving comedy drama
istara13 June 2017
A modern day Cinderella story with a much more bittersweet, or perhaps open, ending.

I saw this at the Sydney Film Festival where the audience was frequently roaring with laughter, and at other times stunned into silence.

Toni Collette is absolutely wonderful as brittle American second wife Anne, who manages to be simultaneously monstrous and selfish while also vulnerable and even kind. Rossy de Palma gives a stunning performance as Maria, it's a real tour de force. The rest of the cast are all very strong, playing flawed characters that all still manage to arouse sympathy as well as frustration.

Beautiful cinematography, which manages to make Paris look familiar yet also new. Great costumes too, and a soundtrack that really works.

Highly recommended.
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8/10
Happy Ending?
horseyware7 September 2018
Infidelity, lies, and 'putting on appearances' is at the centre of this film. No one is who they appear to be. A woman craves for attention, another lets her husband have an affair to confirm his dedication to her. An older man seeks solace without pressure. What we can first perceive as a true love soon manifests into one of shallow fancy, carried by whim and ended with a truth.If you want to see a stereotypical love affair with cute tied up with a ribbon ending, do not watch this film, If you are open to the reality of life, then this is one for you.
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6/10
MAIDEN VOYAGE
js-661306 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The class chasm movie never gets old, but neither does it ever grow young.

Madame has all the chess players in place for a juicy moral tale, bringing a refreshing outsider into a snooty rich circle. As the awkward but loveable maid forced into a stuffy dinner charade, Rossy De Palma warms her nerves with wine, and inadvertently becomes the belle of the ball. The lie grows out of hand, and we have plot.

As the manipulative hostess to the jet set, Toni Collette is insufferably fantastic in her role, the perfect villain to our cheery servant, but this really is De Palma's movie from the get go.

The escalating conflict is quite delicious if not by the numbers predictable, though in a surprising twist - spoiler alert: the ending will now be discussed - not really resolved. The conclusion appears ambiguous, or at least open to multiple deductions (I would argue De Rossa's subtle smirk says it all). This has caused a bit of a fire storm amongst viewers demanding a neat and tidy resolution. Hoo and rah.
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8/10
Romantic comedy with depth
raranoff4 April 2018
This film is a fairytale -both in its beautiful homes, costumes and scenery as well as in the hopes and dreams of its characters. It is surreal. But it is also a realistic film that explores the reality of our human flaws. I enjoyed all the characters and and the acting. Bravo.
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7/10
Nice Cinderella story
Alexander_Blanchett7 November 2018
It was a fine comedy with a strong beginning but a rather weakish second half. Toni Collette was great and and the top of her game with another great characters under her belt and she once again proved her abilities as a true chameleon actress. Also she was quite sexy here, that just on a side note. It was good to see Harvey Keitel in another major role and he obviously had a lot of fun with his character. A very vital performance. The true highlight of the film is the performance of Rossy de Palma. What a riot! She totally owns every scene she is in with her great charmes comedic timing and depth. A very good supporting performance. The rest of the cast is solid enough to give the film some drive. The screenplay was not great, as I said story and dialogue worked at the beginning but it seems they ran out of ideas quite quick and did not offer a great conclusion and neither a very interesting development. Fine score and good cinematography make it worthwhile.
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1/10
Seriously Why?
BatmanFunReviews201814 October 2018
Anne and Bob, a wealthy American couple, move into a manor house in romantic Paris. While preparing a luxurious dinner for sophisticated international friends, our hostess discovers there are thirteen guests. Anne insists her loyal maid Maria disguise herself as a mysterious Spanish noble woman to even out the numbers. Madame showcases a pretty hard and i mean hard downfall for Harvey Keitel's once good and promising career that has gone for a turn of the worse with this movie which is boring, dumb and completely painful to sit threw till the very end.
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6/10
A sweet,pleasant movie for a summer open cinema..
Bibiana75 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Not really a great movie,like for an oscar or something...but it was a nice,sweet and relaxed one.I had great time watching it.Exactly what i needed after a long day.. It was more funny at the first half,for sure...and i am pretty sure most of people wanted a more happy ending,but...hey,why every romantic movie should be ending with a great romance?It was more realistic that way...no? Not regret of watching it..
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10/10
Funny and delightful
maurodc15 July 2018
I really don't understand why people are bashing this movie. It is one of the most entertaining, heartfelt and hilarious comedies I've seen in a while. One of the main reasons why I went to see this movie with my mother was Rossy de Palma. I like a lot her work in spanish films and I think she's a very versatile actress in comedy, and her job in 'Madame' wasn't the exception. I loved her character and in general I liked everyone's job and how good they fit in it.

10/10 I think it is a very good movie with really funny moments every minute, good acting, nice script and fancy clothes. Believe me, it is totally worth of your time. You won't be dissapointed.

Enjoy!
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10/10
Sober, thoughtful and introspective for all in its audience
diane-3425 August 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Diane and I just returned from a delightful, unHollyhood but strangely moving film about love, not having it but grappling to snare it again; grappling is the significant word here.

The plot is relatively straightforward: wealthy Americans in Paris; marriage souring and maid makes contact with a rich associate. Seems to be a rickety plot to string a movie script on but in the hands of a superb writer the result is a film to remember.

It is an adult movie that spins itself around a relatively minuscule plot, but the quality of the thread and the talent of the tailor accounts for the particularly excellent script.
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8/10
The First Satisfying Rom-Com in Some Time
zcorona-2783029 March 2018
The modern rom-com has become something of a tired cliché: a flawed character meets what seems to be a perfect soulmate, and through a combination of fate and chemistry they find each other to be exactly the kind of person they need to sort each others' lives out. As a result, while these films are almost always entertaining, it's exceedingly rare to find one that's generally regarded as a "very good" film. Enter Madame, Amanda Sthers' story about a maid who's asked by her employer to participate in an important dinner and gains immediate awareness of the opportunities she's been missing and the leverage she holds in the household dynamic. Rossy de Palma's Maria is spectacular as the "newly-initiated" member of upper-class living, and her chemistry with the Michael Smiley's David - an aristocrat who becomes enamored at this mysterious woman at the dinner table - is second to none. Toni Collette and Harvey Keitel serve as Maria's employers, in portrayals that play off one another and continue to unravel the characters' vulnerabilities and lost dreams. This is a film that shows the numerous ways in which love can evolve, from one magical dinner with a fellow bachelor to simply learning French.
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5/10
Rossy steals the show
gardermoen-4759211 October 2018
This movie could have been something truly amazing but it just seems to limp along without much focus at any of the main plot points. The only saving grace was the dead pan wit and charm of Rossy de Palma.
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3/10
I can't laugh
SnoopyStyle5 October 2018
Married American couple Bob (Harvey Keitel) and Anne Fredericks (Toni Collette) live in Paris. When his son Steven invites himself to her dinner party, the superstitious Anne needs one more woman to balance the guest list and get away from the number 13. She forces her reluctant head maid Maria (Rossy de Palma) to pretend to be a friend. Steven plants a lie about Maria on David Morgan which entices the dilettante British aristocrat.

I don't like the Fredericks. This French comedy never gets me a laugh. I don't like anybody in this movie. I barely find Maria tolerable although it's no fault of her own. It's not her character. It's her situation. It's not a funny situation but rather an awkward uncomfortable one. Steven is not simply playing a joke on the family. He's playing a joke on innocent Maria and the audience. It ends with her walking into the sunset alone. It's probably the only way to end it other than if she walks off with her daughter. That would have been my pick. I can't find a single laugh.
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8/10
Madame Review
derekjarvis4 April 2018
Madame is a French rom-com following a maid, Maria, who must fill in for an absent dinner guest from the order of her employer, Anne, and ends up starting a relationship with one of the other guests, David. The three-way relationship of David, Maria, and Anne is engaging and entertaining to watch; while David and Maria have their relationship, and Maria is trying to keep her identity as a maid a secret, Anne constantly belittles Maria for doing behaving "right" or doing things "correctly". Anne becomes a character the audience will love to hate, as her overbearing and eccentric personality make her a spectacle to watch, despite doing things that would generally be considered being a bad person. The slice of life approach is a welcoming change of pace to the rom-com genre, as it doesn't feel like a string of misunderstandings pushing along conflict, but several days in the life of these characters as events unfold. While the ending may leave some viewers unsatisfied, it fits with the theme as life goes on, as well as directing referring to a point brought up earlier in the film where people crave happy endings, but real life rarely mimics this. Madame is a perfect lazy afternoon or relaxed date night film with plenty of quirky characters to keep the audience engaged.
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6/10
Oooooh ooooh ooooh Madame
Horst_In_Translation9 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Madame" is a French English/French/Spanish-language film from this year (2017), so a really recent release and the newest work by French writer and director Amanda Sthers. The cast includes Oscar nominees Keitel and Collette (playing a married couple), but the title character is played by Almodovar regular Rossy de Palma. She is the good girl in here, a loyal housekeeper looking for and potentially finding love way outside her range of income as you may want to say so. de Palma was an interesting choice for the character and she pulled it off nicely, even if I always had the impression that villain/antagonist roles could be more suited to her. And as they obviously did not want to waste an actress like Collette (playing the exact opposite to de Palma), she got her slightly baity role and character transformation too, even if I was not really convinced by the latter. It was not Collette's fault, but really the way her character was written that left me underwhelmed at times, especially in the second half. The second half was generally weaker I would say. The first half was quite good and the only thing not working too well was maybe the fact that she really did not want her to be with the rich Irish guy. But you can explain that too with how she would not want a simple woman happier than her, that she was afraid her scam could come to light or that she just despises the low class to some extent, although that may not be true as there are brief moments in which she acts to de Palma's character like a friend.

The music during these 90 minutes is fun too and that start with the title song very early on already. Plus Asereje is just so damn catchy. As for the ending, I am not too sure. They wanted the realistic route instead of the feel-good happy ending route, but did it really feel realistic. I am not sure what it was with the family's son apparently suddenly having a romantic interest in RdP's character? Did he? It seemed this way. Or was it just intended to make us wonder why we accept Keitel's affair with old man young woman and not the other way around? Well it was because we saw Keitel's character wooing her early on, but afterward we just don't see the same with the other too, even if they apparently like each other. In any case, this modern take with some Cinderella story moments was a solid watch that included some moments that may make you laugh out loud. Greatness perhaps not achieved, but thanks to the actors, this one's certainly worth seeing for most of the characters and Joséphine de La Baume may be comfortably among the most stunning actresses I've seen all year. Go check it out if it plays near you.
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