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Women on the 6th Floor [Import]

 Unrated   DVD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 30.57 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Paris, 1960. Jean-Louis (Fabrice Luchini, Potiche, The Girl From Monaco) lives a bourgeois existence with his neurotic socialite wife Suzanne (Sandrine Kiberlain, Mademoiselle Chambon) while their children are away at boarding school. The couple's world is turned upside-down when they hire María, a Spanish maid who introduces Jean-Louis to an alternative reality a few stories up on the sixth floor servants' quarters. Befriending a group of sassy Spanish maids (including Pedro Almódovar's star Carmen Maura, Volver, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown), the women teach him there's more to life than stocks and bonds, and their influence on the house ultimately transforms everyone's life.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Set in Paris in the 1960's this is the story of one of those beautiful French town buildings that house a microcosm of society. Jean-Louis Joubert (Fabrice Lucine) is a middle aged stock broker married to Suzanne (Sandrine Kiberlain), they have settled into a life of domestic existence masked by their upper middle class sensibilities. Then their maid of over twenty years has a falling out and leaves. Well apparently the latest must have for women in Suzanne's position is a Spanish maid.

So Suzanne sets off and recruits Maria who is just off the bus from Spain and she is put to the test and after realizing that Mousier Joubert likes a perfect 3 ' minute boiled egg she starts to work her way into the affections of the couple. The thing is she actually lives in the same building up in the gods on the sixth floor. This is a place at complete odds with the luxurious apartment where she works. They have no hot water, no washing facilities, no refrigeration and no heat and all live in squalid little bed rooms oh and the toilet is blocked. However despite this and the long hours they all work they are always happy and over flowing with love for one another. Oh yes the children of the not so loving couple, are in boarding school but return full of the arrogance that only privilege can bring.

As events take their turn it soon dawns on Jean-Louis that he prefers the company of the Spanish maids and what he had always thought important might not be as he suddenly realises he may have been getting his priorities wrong all along.

This is a joyous film, full of unexpected humour and touching moments all mixed in with the not so nice bits of life. It is just a pleasure from start to finish and it is very hard to say why without doing a real plot spoiler.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  101 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Need More Joy in Your Life July 28 2013
By Britt - Published on Amazon.com
This movie made me cry. It reminds me of how little joy I have in my life. The Spanish maids were so vibrant and alive, their love for one another obvious and pure. The enthusiasm they had for life was infectious and overwhelmingly beautiful. We all need a group of loving friends to dance and sing with and enjoy a delicious paella with fine wine. Life was not meant to be dull and routine. Too many of us live in isolation, entertained by gadgets like computers, televisions, and cell phones, never experiencing the joy of real friendship. I want to be like the Spanish maids and actually FEEL.
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Friends with benefits: A Parisian Upstairs Downstairs March 31 2012
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
THE WOMEN ON THE 6TH FLOOR (Les femmes du 6ème étage) is a delightful bit of French pastiche that entertains while it also provides insight into several problems - immigration, class distinction, rich controlling poor, and the polar extremes of between the wealth and the working class. Fortunately the story as written by Jérôme Tonnerre and writer/director Philippe Le Guay takes place in the 1960s, offering the audience to glance back at period when social reforms were in the gestational phase and in doing so the film allows the comedy to reign - a fact that makes the reality eventually more poignant.

The story takes place in Paris in 1963 in an elegant neighborhood where Jean-Louis Joubert (Fabrice Luchini) is a serious but uptight stockbroker, married to Suzanne (Sandrine Kiberlain), a starchy class-conscious woman and father of two arrogant teenage boys, (Camille Gigot and Jean-Charles Deval) currently in a boarding school. Jean-Louis lives a steady yet boring life while Suanne busies herself with luncheon appointments, hair appointments, charities, etc. Jean-Louis' mother had been living with the Jouberts until her recent death and now Suzanne forces Jean-Louis to move all of the deceased woman's things to the attic on the 6th floor, an act that infuriates the longtime French maid Germaine (Michèle Gleizer) who leaves the household in disgust. Naturally everything deteriorates an Suzanne must find a new maid. She encounters Maria (Natalia Verbeke) recently immigrated from Spain, offers her a trial employment, and Maria, who becomes friends with the group of maids who live in the disgusting squalor of the 6th floor of the building: naturally these Spanish maids bond and help Maria bring the Joubert household to a state of perfection. Jean-Lois is thrilled with the new maid and discovers the other maids, hears their problems with the sewer and other poor conditions, and sets out to befriend these wonderful ladies who are living in his building : the redoubtable Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Berta Ojea, Nuria Solé, and Concha Galán. These lovely and deeply appreciative lively Spanish maids help Jean-Louis to become open to a new civilization and a new approach of life. In their company - and especially in the company of beautiful Maria - Jean-Louis will gradually become another man, a better man.

The acting is first rate, the subplots embroider the main story with fine finesse, and the sense of the transformation of one wealthy but emotionally vapid man into the loving charmer he becomes makes for a very fine comedy. The ending (three years later) is a bit vapid and cheapens the story quality, but by that time the audience is so entranced with this new vision of camaraderie that it matters little. This is a refreshing, well made, exceptionally entertaining film that boast a particularly fine cast of ensemble actors. In French and Spanish with English subtitles. Grady Harp, March 12
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Funny, Beautiful and Captivating French tale of domestic servitude. Jan. 27 2013
By Tommy Dooley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Set in Paris in the 1960's this is the story of one of those beautiful French town buildings that house a microcosm of society. Jean-Louis Joubert (Fabrice Lucine) is a middle aged stock broker married to Suzanne (Sandrine Kiberlain), they have settled into a life of domestic existence masked by their upper middle class sensibilities. Then their maid of over twenty years has a falling out and leaves. Well apparently the latest must have for women in Suzanne's position is a Spanish maid.

So Suzanne sets off and recruits Maria who is just off the bus from Spain and she is put to the test and after realizing that Mousier Joubert likes a perfect 3  minute boiled egg she starts to work her way into the affections of the couple. The thing is she actually lives in the same building up in the gods on the sixth floor. This is a place at complete odds with the luxurious apartment where she works. They have no hot water, no washing facilities, no refrigeration and no heat and all live in squalid little bed rooms oh and the toilet is blocked. However despite this and the long hours they all work they are always happy and over flowing with love for one another. Oh yes the children of the not so loving couple, are in boarding school but return full of the arrogance that only privilege can bring.

As events take their turn it soon dawns on Jean-Louis that he prefers the company of the Spanish maids and what he had always thought important might not be as he suddenly realises he may have been getting his priorities wrong all along.

This is a joyous film, full of unexpected humour and touching moments all mixed in with the not so nice bits of life. It is just a pleasure from start to finish and it is very hard to say why without doing a real plot spoiler. This is one of those films that you will not be able to help raving about, and I intend to bore quite a few friends about why this is a must see. Maria is played by the very beautiful Natalie Verbeke who is just brilliant. There is not a single lack lustre performance here, all of the cast are brilliant especially the Spanish women. Director and co writer Phillipe Le Guay has made a simple yet beautiful film that deserves much more attention. For lovers of all things European, French, Spanish or just those that like a great Gallic comedy - absolutely brilliant.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully joyful and life-affirming June 24 2014
By Sunita Anne Abraham - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
In French and Spanish, with English subtitles, this film depicts the burgeoning friendship between French stock-broker, Monsieur Jean-Louis Joubert and a group of Spanish cleaning ladies who live on the top floor of his apartment building. I found the film wonderfully life-affirming...watching the transformation of Jean-Louis as he befriends these women, and starts to help them in various practical ways. Love thy neighbour with skin on! Jean-Louis' wife and sons provide wonderful comic relief with their laugh-out-loud statements and worldview. Set in 1960s Paris, this delightful social comedy will leave you smiling.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "For The First Time I Feel In My Place ... Here I Discovered A Family" - Jean-Louis Jan. 2 2014
By Sheryl Fechter - Published on Amazon.com
During 1962, Life in Paris is getting very predictable, complacent, and altogether lacking for middle-aged Jean-Louis Joubert (Fabrice Luchini). He lives along with his country woman turned socialite wife, Suzanne (Sandrine Kiberlain), has two haughty sons off in boarding school, goes to work each day as a stockbroker, but is just existing in his white collared orderly routine. Their petulant maid, Germaine, is having daily falling-outs with his wife since Jean's mother passed away. It has been nothing but constant friction as she blames Suzanne for being the one who actually did the woman in; intentionally. Without warning, she packs up her belongings and scornfully quits to the tune of the cantankerous neighbor woman yelling in the hallway, "The Spaniards! they partied all night again, they shouted and sang!". While this woman may think them too boisterous, they are a spirited bunch and a cohesive family-like unit of maids living on the 6th floor of their building. The floor that breathes the life into this story.

After learning from her high-society friends just how "agreeable" these Spanish women are and that they even work on Sundays (after 6:00 am Mass), she recruits the lovely Maria Gonzalez (Natalia Verbeke). Just arriving from Spain and joining her Aunt Concepcion on the 6th floor, she is quickly acclimated to her new position with the Jouberts. A very fussy Jean-Louis insists on only one thing; the perfectly soft-boiled egg. "If the egg is perfect, my day is made" is his stance on how life should be for Maria to handle. She easily enchants with her sweet and lively ways, conversations with Suzanne, takes care of each household task and equally sweeps Jean-Louis right off his feet. He visits the floor upstairs while bringing up things for storage and sees what he calls "deplorable" conditions for the maids. Jean quickly begins to shape things up for the women becoming what they call a "Saint" to them. They lived with the most horrible conditions; no hot water, a plugged up toilet, tiny sleeping spaces, paint peeling off walls, overly long working hours, everything that would drain a person.

But not these outspoken and animated women. They are a joyous group that get together all of the time; eat, drink, and always be merry is their motto. They give a whole new meaning to being happy while feeling that what they do is wonderful and supporting each other as if they were all sisters. As Jean visits the women on the 6th, using any excuse to see Maria, he learns more and more about life through another culture, self-betterment, loving others, and the meaning of true happiness with these jubilant people. While joining them all for one of their festive parties filled with grand food, flowing wine and plenty of singing, Suzanne has been suspecting his absences from home but blames it on another source. Jean-Louis does not deceive his wife about his whereabouts although she does decide to send him packing. While he takes up a new residence and Maria attends to situations so dear to her own life the years go right on by. They each must come to terms with the possibility of never seeing one another again or if learning through their two very different worlds was the heart of the matter all along.

This extremely effervescent film, co-written and directed by Philippe De Guay, is accompanied by lovely original music (Jorge Arriagada) featuring a gorgeous Spanish Guitar playing throughout. The scenery (Jean-Claude Larrieu) of Paris, Spain and the countryside is breathtaking and shown with the gusto of the movie's own spirited momentum. A storytelling movie that has something completely special to say; it speaks of immense joy, friendships of the highest kind, laughter with abandon, and the absolute message of the most important things in life.
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