Life Lessons from the Poors in The Women on the 6th Floor
The pleasing sounds of Carmen Mauras whispery Castilian lisp open this 1962-set film about the friendship between a Parisian captain of industry and a group of Spanish maids. But all the words that follow assault the ear in this unnecessary rehashing of the earthy virtues of low-paid laborers versus the stiffness of the bourgeoisie. Third-generation stockbroker Jean-Louis (Fabrice Luchini), husband of brittle, insecure provincial Suzanne (Sandrine Kiberlain) and father of two boarding-school brats, suddenly transforms into an altruist, concerned with the inferior plumbing and other hardships endured by the half-dozen Spanish domestics, refugees from Francos regime, who live above him. Among the sextet is recent arrival María (Natalia Verbeke), who stirs Jean-Louis, her new employer, both with her stories of working 15 hours a day as a teenager at a tobacco factory and her ass. Freed from French fussiness, Jean-Louis loses himself in Iberian pleasures: paella, Malaga, coplas. Those up there are alive; down here were dead, Suzanne remarks to two ladies who lunch as her husband and his pals dance the flamenco. Director Philippe Le Guay, who co-wrote the script with Jérôme Tonnerre, has given us a new stock character: the Magical Ibero.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.
More Film News
- Teen Sex Comedy ‘Staten Island Summer’ Works Best If You’re Hard Up
- If the Devil Were Real, He’d Demand Better Horror Flicks Than ‘The Vatican Tapes’
- Doc 'A Gay Girl in Damascus' Finds Resonant Truth in an Online Fiction
- Slack Mystery ‘Frank the Bastard’ Proves You Can Go Home Again (But It Won’t Be...