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Madame

Housekeeper Maria (Rossy de Palma) has to pretend to be an elegant lady because her boss is superstitious. The fact that the man sitting next to her, British art dealer David, immediately falls in love with her, wasn‘t planned for. A comedy of ...

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Toni Colette and Harvey Keitel play a rich American couple that has settled in a chic residence in Paris. Things are crumbling behind the perfect facade: Paul has to sell his beloved Caravaggio to make ends meet, but first he has to check whether it‘s real, and Anne is frustrated and tense. There hasn‘t been sparks between them for a while. Keitel‘s son Steven still resents him for the new marriage and has a bad case of writer‘s block. MADAME starts off as an opulent “Upstairs-Downstairs“ comedy. While the ultra-rich aggravate each other and get ready to host a dinner, the kitchen staff is lovingly cutting zucchini for the soup. The bosses‘s faces are illuminated, the camera focuses on the hand movements of the staff. Only one face appears out of the darkness in a maid uniform, that of head housekeeper Maria (Rossy de Palma). The classes intermingle when it turns out that 13 guests are expected. That‘s bad luck! Anne asks Maria to pretend to be a mysterious Spanish friend and attend the dinner, and her naive charm is so winning that art dealer David (Michael Smiley) falls for her...Anne is appalled.

In the 50s this constellation would be the starting point of a fairy tale where the poor discover wealth and the rich discover their hearts. Amanda Sther‘s film masks an insurmountable social coldness beneath the colorful images. The rich aren‘t just unhappy, they are also invasive: Anne snatches Maria‘s phone and reads her messages. Steven uses her story as inspiration for his new book. The glossy story and the cold world it is set in don‘t align: MADAME had the potential to be a viscious satire but succumbs to the conventions of a comedy of manners.

Hendrike Bake (INDIEKINO MAGAZIN)

Translation: Elinor Lewy

Credits

Frankreich 2017, 91 min
Genre: Tragicomedy
Director: Amanda Sthers
Author: Amanda Sthers
DOP: Régis Blondeau
Montage: Nicholas Chaudeurge
Music: Matthieu Gonet
Distributor: StudioCanal
Cast: Harvey Keitel, Toni Collette, Rossy de Palma, Tom Hughes
FSK: oA
Release: 30.11.2017

Website

Screenings

Screenings

  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles
English/with English subtitles
All languages

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