22

June
2003

10:54 pm

8 Women

I'll get this right out front-- the ending stank. Unfortunately, that colours the rest of what was otherwise a most entertaining couple of hours. The staging was impressive: a country house of 1950's somewhere-in-France, more real than real, to the edge of cartoon real. Even the stones in the walls were each one perfect. The acting was spot-on, and having the characters break out in song at the oddest moments added just that extra something necessary to put the icing on this parody of mysteries, especially 1950's and 1960's movie mysteries.

If only they'd bothered to write an ending that had some relationship to the previous yards of film, I'd have been happy. The movie opens with the elder daughter coming home from school for Christmas. She's greeted in the front room by her mother, her sister, her grandmother, her aunt, the new maid and the not-so-new cook. There's some happy stuff, some edgy stuff, night falls, day dawns, daddy's dead.

Daddy's sister the whore comes by the house in time to be trapped in with the rest of the women (snow. phone line cut. car sabotaged. huskies on the other side of the polinya.) Bit by bit, in between songs, we find out that daddy's lost all his money, he's knocked up his step-daughter (the one just home for the hols), the maid he hired is really a dominatrix, his wife is leaving him, his sister seduced the cook, and so on and so forth.

Finally, when everyone knows more about each other than they ever wanted to, comes the grand finale...

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Turns out daddy's alive—he and his youngest staged the murder because he was so depressed over his wife leaving and, um, I dunno. The older daughter having the temerity to bother him with her being pregnant with his baby? Anyway, he's maybe been listening through the keyhole, since as soon as the younger opens his door, he puts a gun to his head and shoots himself for real.

Men. Sheesh. Boys, I have news for ya—it's not all about you. In fact, hardly anything is.

tagged: , | 2 Comments
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2 Comments

  1. enjay
    posted June 23, 2003 at 6:48 am

    On the bright side, the actresses obviously had a lot of fun making this movie, and it showed.

    I think that what irritated me most about the ending was the way in which it presented daddy as the aggrieved, lonely victim who had been driven to suicide by the narcissistic machinations of the women around him. Ahem? This was a man who had managed to lose all his own money, kept trying to get his hands on that of his mother-in-law and sister-in-law, probably slept with his sister (though that was when they were children, hardly worth counting), had brought a whore into his household for his own convenience, and impregnated the girl who everyone (including her) thought was his daughter (though in fact she was no blood relation).

    An innocent betrayed, indeed. Poor, pitiful thing… diddums get all depressed because of dose nasty evil wimmens?

  2. pericat
    posted June 23, 2003 at 7:30 am

    Testify! :)