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François Ozon, France

Ozon's most playful and charming film yet, it is definitely unambitious in scope or satire but still very enjoyable just the same. Set in 1977, the legendary Catherine Deneuve, who is still a delight at the age of sixty-seven, stars as Suzanne Pujol, a bourgeois trophy wife who happily spends her days tending to the house and jotting down small poems. Even though it was her father's company, her husband Robert (Fabrice Luchini) runs the successful umbrella factory that lends them their very comfortable lifestyle. They have two grown children, the artistic Laurent (Jérémie Renier) who wants nothing to do with the business, and Joëlle (Judith Godrèche) who is married to an idiot who has been drummed out of the factory, leaving Joëlle to wonder if her destiny will be the same as her mother's.

Robert is a bit of a prick, and while he runs around having affairs with his secretary and prostitutes, he also rules the factory (and his home) with a bit of an iron fist. Suzanne is putting up with it, but it finally has him in trouble with the workers, who are on the verge of striking with support of the local labor leader Maurice Babin, played by the equally legendary Gérard Depardieu. He and Robert have been at odds for years, but as a young man he drove a truck for the company and also had a brief affair with the already-married young Suzanne. When the strike happens, Robert has a mild heart attack, sidelining him from the negotiations. Even though he and most everybody else don't take her seriously, the emergency status at the plant means Suzanne must temporarily take the reigns for the first time. Being the yet unliberated 1970s France, Suzanne is constantly underestimated, but almost immediately she shows a great passion and flair for handling the business in a profitable yet fair manner. Once her husband mends, she decides she will not relinquish her position, causing an interior battle among the family, as well as teaming her with old flame Babin.

The tone of this power struggle is like a farcical sitcom, but a truly fun and winkingly self-aware one. There is no real biting satire here and it never gets too dark or twisted, instead Ozon concocts a joyous and gentle spoof highlighting two great stars who, even at their advanced ages and increased weights, are still a treat to watch on the big screen, especially when they interact together. There are even a few musical moments dropped in, which coupled with the factory's product and the film's pastel color palate are a nice nod to Jacques Demy's 1964 classic The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. One of the many sequences that can't help but bring a big smile to your face has Deneuve and Depardieu shaking their booties at the disco, which may be worth the price of admission by itself. About as deep as a bucket, but almost impossible not to enjoy.