The Women on the 6th Floor - Movie Review
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Sandrine Kilberlain, Natalia Verbeke, Lola Duenas and Carmen Maura
Director: Phillippe Le Guay
It's off to 1960s Paris we go in this Upstairs, Downstairs social drama about the owner of a house and his relationship with the maids he employs.
A starched Fabrice Luchini is stockbroker Jean-Louis Joubert who lives with his socialite wife amid the perks of wealth. One such perk is the owning of maids; but when the head of the household quits, Joubert ends up hiring Maria (Natalia Verbeke), a Spanish maid new in town, who soon makes his mark in the household.
But not for the wrong reasons - her bright breezy attitude opens up Joubert's eyes to the injustice and suffering of the Spanish help as this cross cultural dramedy unfolds.
The Women on the 6th Floor is a gentle Gallic charmer of a film - it runs foul of a few cliches here and there as it negotiates the day to day life and politics of a stiffly starched yet compassionate relationship and tensions between the French and the Spanish as the Civil war continues.
Luchini and Verbeke make a pleasant couple - with her youthfullness and joie de vivre bringing out the compassion over time of his repressed socialite. Occasionally, their relationship feels a little forced and lacks perhaps some of the sizzle that you'd expect of the story.
All in all, The Women on the 6th Floor is a light, breezy Gallic treat of a film to wile away a Sunday afternoon.