The Women on the 6th Floor

The Women on the 6th Floor (Les Femmes du 6e étage) (2011)
NZ International Film Festival

Slight but charming, starring Fabrice Luchini (who has filled out somewhat since 1990’s La Discrète but still has very good teeth) and several of Almodóvar’s favourite actresses. The story of how an alienated Parisian stockbroker learns to enjoy life through associating with the smart and lively Spanish cleaning ladies who keep his apartment building running never turns as dark as you might expect, but the actors are a joy to watch. Something of  a pastel sketch, but what’s wrong with that?

Any attempt at an American remake (with Mexican cleaners?) would be disastrous and patronising, but this works because the upper-middle French families featured just drip with calcified ennui, and their servants are clearly much smarter and more ambitious than they are. There’s lots of food in it, so don’t watch it on an empty stomach.


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