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Top French Thesps ‘Figure’ in Ozon’s Potiche

Coming off the recent, critically well-received, smaller in scale Le Refuge (a drama that initially is conceived as an addiction drama but is better labeled as a film about yearning and loneliness, François Ozon has commenced shooting his 12th feature titled Potiche.

Coming off the recent, critically well-received, smaller in scale Le Refuge (a drama that initially is conceived as an addiction drama but is better labeled as a film about yearning and loneliness, François Ozon has commenced shooting his 12th feature titled Potiche. He’ll be A couple of last minute adjustments, headliners Ludivine Sagnier and Cécile De France appear to have been replaced by Karin Viard and Judith Godrèche, and Ozon will be reuniting with Catherine Deneuve (8 Women) and Jérémie Renier. Filling out the cast we find Gérard Depardieu take the supporting role and Fabrice Luchini playing the antagonist.

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.

The pic could essentially be ready for a summer release or the Fall film festival. 

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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