Film / 8 Women

8 Women is a French musical comedy murder-mystery film released in 2002, directed by François Ozon and based on the play by Robert Thomas.

The film is set in the 1950s in a large country residence, as a family and its servants are preparing for Christmas, when the master of the house is discovered dead in his bed, with a dagger stuck into his back. The murderer must be one of the eight women in the house at the time, and in the course of the investigations each has her own tale to tell and secrets to hide.

The original French title, 8 femmes, was chosen to distinguish it from the 1972 play titled Huit femmes.

This movie contains examples of:

  • All-Star Cast: From a French perspective.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Out of eight female cast members, we have one lesbian (Channelle), two bisexuals (Louise and Pierrette)... And then Gaby turns out to be bi-curious. One can only imagine the number would have gone up had the movie been longer !
  • Conviction by Contradiction: As a fan of mystery novels, Catherine is adamant the culprit can be caught by noticing inconsistencies and vagueness in her declarations. The only problem, she says, is that every single one of the other culprits is hiding a chockful of secrets too ! And it turns out that Catherine herself is the culprit, which makes sense since she was the only one who didn't have a big personal secret to hide besides her "crime."
  • Curtain Camouflage : Catherine is a master of this.
  • Downer Ending: Everything goes so, so very badly.
  • Driven to Suicide: Marcel.
  • Everyone Is a Suspect
  • Everybody Did It: From a certain point of view, the end of the movie becomes this, in the sense that each woman of the cast made Marcel more and more depressed, culminating in his suicide when his younger daughter becomes just as despicable as the rest of them.
  • Flower Motif: The opening credits present the eight actresses with a certain flower which symbolized their characters.
  • French Maid: Louise, though she's not usually blatantly sexual.
  • Incest Is Relative
  • Juke Box Musical
  • Lady in Red: Pierette, who was rumored to be a prostitute, wears a red dress in much of her scenes.
  • Maiden Aunt: Augustine
  • Maybe Ever After: Any resolution to the Louise/Gaby/Pierrette/Channelle love quadrangle is left up in the air after the ending.
  • Orgasmic Combat
  • Pretty in Mink: Gaby wears a fur-trimmed coat and then a mink stole, the latter is stroked by Pierette as she confesses she now prefers women.
    • Augustine also wears a mink stole when she breaks out of her spinster getup.
  • Retraux: The look of the film evokes the look of films made in the 1950s, and the songs are all performed in a 1950s style, despite some of them being from as late as the 1980s.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Augustine, in one of her sister's old dresses.
  • Snowed-In: Played with; it certainly complicates the whole situation, but none of the characters are actually locked in until the culprit secretly chains the gates of the estate and ruins the car's engine. The snow is just the added bonus.