Deneuve and Depardieu star in Ozon’s Potiche
by Fabien Lemercier
Turning out films at a regular rate, François Ozon started shooting yesterday in Belgium on his 12th feature, Potiche (“Figurehead”).
The director reunites with Catherine Deneuve (Hidden Diary [+see also:
film profile]), whom he previously directed in 8 Women [+see also:
film profile] (2002). The cast also includes Gérard Depardieu (set to appear in 2010 in Dumas), Fabrice Luchini (The Girl from Monaco [+see also:
film profile]), Karin Viard (Happy End [+see also:
film profile]), Judith Godrèche (Please, Please Me! [+see also:
film profile]) and Belgium’s Jérémie Renier (Tomorrow at Dawn [+see also:
interview: Denis Dercourt
Adapted by the director from Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Grédy’s eponymous play, Potiche is set in a French bourgeois province in 1977. Suzanne (Deneuve) is the submissive wife of rich industrialist Robert Pujol (Luchini), who runs his umbrella factory with an iron hand and turns out to be just as nasty and tyrannical with his workers as he is with his mistress (Viard), children (Renier and Godrèche) and “trophy” wife.
After the workers go on strike and hold Robert captive, Suzanne ends up managing the factory, instead of her husband, who is disowned by the staff. Distressed and in poor health, Robert goes away for a while and, to the surprise of most, Suzanne proves to be an assertive woman of action.
With the help of the communist deputy, her former lover Maurice Babin (Depardieu), she puts an end to the strike, gets the factory running again and improves the employees’ working conditions. But when Robert returns from his trip in good health, the situation gets complicated.
Produced by Eric and Nicolas Altmayer for Mandarin Cinéma, Potiche is co-produced by Belgium (through Production Services Belgium), where the eight-week shoot will take place. Mars Distribution will release the film in France on November 10, 2010.
Meanwhile, Ozon’s film Ricky [+see also:
film profile] is currently showing in Italy (distributed by Teodora) and will be released in early 2010 in Spain (January 8 - Wanda Vision) and Poland (Gutek Film). The director’s most recent work, The Refuge [+see also:
film profile], which won the Special Jury Prize at San Sebastian, will be launched in French theatres by Le Pacte on January 27, 2010.
(Translated from French)