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.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2011
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