French comedy concerning class, sexism and snobbery...
Directed by François Ozon
Starring Gérard Depardieu, Catherine Deneuve
A comedy in which Gérard Depardieu plays a sleazy and chauvinistic Communist union leader, French cinema audiences noted similarities between the leading man and President Sarkozy.
British audiences, however, are likely to find other reference points – particularly, ’70s sitcoms like Are You Being Served? or The Rag Trade.
Catherine Deneuve plays the wife of a factory boss in a provincial French town, who many years earlier had an affair with Depardieu.
She finds herself assuming control of the factory and – shock horror! – proves more adept at the task than her husband. Clearly, both actors relish their roles. Deneuve manages to look chic and regal even jogging in a tracksuit. Depardieu excels as a gruff romantic torn between his political beliefs and romantic longings.
François Ozon, meanwhile, attacks his material with huge zest, playing up kitsch elements but never losing sight of more serious points.