The Women on the 6th Floor (image 1)

An inverted upstairs/downstairs comedy with a southern European twist.

Boyd van Hoeij, Variety

Screened as part of NZIFF 2011

The Women on the 6th Floor 2010

Les Femmes du 6e étage

Directed by Philippe Le Guay

In this breezy comedy an uptight middle-class couple (Fabrice Luchini and Sandrine Kiberlain) are snapped out of their tired routines by their Spanish maid and a houseful of her female relations.

France In French and Spanish with English subtitles
106 minutes

Director

Producers

Philippe Rousselet
,
Etienne Comar

Screenplay

Philippe Le Guay
,
Jérôme Tonnerre

Photography

Jean-Claude Larrieu

Editor

Monica Coleman

Production designer

Pierre-François Limbosch

Costume designer

Christian Gasc

Music

Jorge Arriagada

With

Fabrice Luchini (Jean-Louis)
,
Sandrine Kiberlain (Suzanne)
,
Natalia Verbeke (Maria)
,
Carmen Maura (Concepcion)
,
Lola Dueñas (Carmen)
,
Berta Ojea (Dolores)
,
Nuria Sole (Teresa)
,
Concha Galán (Pilar)

Festivals

Berlin 2011

Elsewhere

Released elsewhere as Service Entrance this French comedy has been a hit both at home and abroad. It’s 1962. An uptight middle-class couple – Fabrice Luchini and Sandrine Kiberlain – are barely aware that the servants’ quarters on an upper floor of their Paris apartment building are overflowing with refugees from Franco’s Spain: the sisters and aunts and mothers and cousins of the legal occupant (Carmen Maura). After they hire one of them, the beautiful, mysterious, quietly challenging Maria, to be their housemaid, they are gradually made aware of their own unintentional insensitivity and are drawn out of their tired routines. Kiberlain’s touching remoteness from the infectious gusto of the tenants brings a little edge to the film’s comic fantasy, while Luchini has a ball as the stuffy fusspot rescued from himself by the chance to play godfather to a houseful of hot-blooded Spanish country girls. — BG

"A delight, thanks to a witty script and the presence of French national treasure, Fabrice Luchini, whose comic schtick evokes Molière. Luchini plays a tight-assed stockbroker who browbeats servants over the timing of his morning boiled egg… Le Guay and his charming cast work it to perfection .” — Erica Abeel, indieWIRE

“A three word review: it is charming… From the opening ‘interviews’ with Spanish maids, where one dismisses French food and admits a distaste for cleaning silverware…the film is alternately poignant and fluffy… Spain comes to personify the exotic with such wonderful hilarity that even the romance-trumps-all endin gcannot disappoint. It is incredibly difficult for this critic to write anything remotely critical when, more than anything else, The Women on the 6th Floor calls forth a smile. You have to see this film.” — Leslie-Stonebraker, NY Press