Saturday, April 30, 2011

Potiche (Rhoades)

“Potiche” Offers
Gallic Charm – and
Catherine Deneuve

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

I once met Catherine Deneuve, the French actress and model who has been called “the most beautiful woman in the world.” She was with her boyfriend of the time, a French TV exec with Canal Plus, waiting around in my friend’s studio while he poured through boxes of old girlie photographs, looking for any images of ’50s pinup queen Bettie Page.
Odd, I thought, that a man living with the most beautiful woman in the world is searching for nudie photos of another woman.
Here, in Key West, we know that Bettie Page once lived among us. She was married to a local Conch, taught at Harris School, and eschewed her image as a glamour girl who had bewitched every pimple-faced boy in America – me included.
I have a huge collection – perhaps the largest around – of original photographs of Bettie Page. Catherine Deneuve’s old paramour has a large collection too.
Now, Deneuve has become (as they say) a woman of a certain age. But she’s still beautiful. Go see for yourself, for “Potiche” is still playing at the Tropic Cinema.
This French-Belgian comedy, directed by François Ozon, is based on a popular play. Along with Catherine Deneuve you will encounter that great Gallic actor Gérard Despardieu (you’ll remember him when you see the bulbous nose) and Fabrice Luchini (notable for his many appearances in Éric Rohmer films).
“Potiche” tells the story of a wife who takes over the management of her husband’s umbrella factory to comic consequences. One translation of “Potiche” is “trophy wife.” Here we see the “little woman” rise to the occasion.
Ironic that she manages an umbrella factory in “Potiche.” One of Catherine Deneuve’s best-loved films was “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg” (“The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”).
I also remember her in that erotic vampire thriller, “The Hunger.” Good thing she’s not managing a blood bank in “Potiche.”
[from Solares Hill]

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