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Women on the 6th Floor [Import]


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Product Details

  • Format: Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Strand Home Video
  • Release Date: March 13 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0069UV0AY

Product Description

Women on the 6th Floor

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER on Jan. 27 2013
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nancy on March 4 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Good movie...didn't expect the subtitles but after a bit didn't even notice we were reading them . The story flows along smoothly
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 112 reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
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.
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
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
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
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 ½ 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.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
THE WOMEN ON THE 6TH FLOOR: Maids a'plenty! April 5 2012
By E. Lee Zimmerman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
What begins as a motion picture about the clash of cultures could've ended up as a `coming-of-middle-age' dramedy in lesser hands, but, thankfully, THE WOMEN ON THE 6TH FLOOR rises on the shoulders of its many skillful players.

Jean-Louis Joubert (played by Fabrice Luchini) is a man very set in his ways: he's a stockbroker who's been very successful by playing it safe - investing for the benefits of long-term relationships - and, much as he's done at work, he is at home. He wed a demure country girl (Suzanne, played by Sandrine Kiberlain), immediately went to work at raising two heirs for the business, and even insists that his morning hard-boiled egg be cooked at no-less-and-no-more than three and one-half minutes. He lives his life with exacting precision. So it should come as no surprise that his recent hiring of a new maid - Maria Gonzalez (played by the lovely Natalia Verbeke), who speaks her mind, has a free-wheeling love of life about her, and is a modern, liberated woman - is about to turn his ordered world upside down! Of course, that only means he's going to fall in love all over again - isn't that required of any romantic comedy these days? - but it's a sin easily forgiven when the tale is so sweet.

At its core, WOMEN explores the nexus of where things meet. Various ethnic cultures come together and clash. The passing of times forces the old to consider the new. Children clash with their parents. Nations go to war. Blue-collar clashes with white-collar. Precisely when two forces collide creates this nexus - a magical, mystical place where what comes after the intersection is always much more colorful, vibrant, and expressive than what came before. This `nexus' is central to appreciating what the film is saying about these people, these times, this place, etc., as it's the catalyst that fuels the narrative.

Jean-Louis meets Maria, and something as simple as the parting words as he's leaving for work requires his attention; however, not long after, he sees the world around him in much different color and flavor, and he's psychologically dashed off in another direction completely, one that lets the outside world in for a man who long ago shut it and its influences out. It's an almost magical transformation - one handled deftly by Luchini, an odd choice certainly for a romantic lead up against Ms. Verbeke, but one that works because of the chemistry the two create onscreen - and it carries the weight of an entire picture.

What I struggled with most was Jean-Louis's eventual rejection of his wife comes with little-to-no motivation, nor with any foreshadowing whatsoever. Up until the moment when he indulges himself, we're only shown that he has an established life at home, and, while his behaviors there, around the building, and at work are clearly `evolving', there was never any definitive moment when he announced - as a character - that he was losing interest in his wife while gaining it in Maria. Granted, his life with Suzanne may not have been perfect - he can recite her day's schedule ineffectually like the letters of the alphabet - but they appeared happy in their relationship. Sure, maybe it's a small quibble, but seeing how it fuels the second half of the picture, I would've appreciate a greater scene - even a simply throwaway - that may've made me understand this singular choice by a lead character better. Otherwise, I'm led to believe that he's simply fallen into a rut - succumbed to life's grand routine of life then work then marriage then death - and that seems too forced, maybe even a bit too convenient, to this viewer.

To be fair, there are some virtual throwaway side plots that aren't worked to great effectiveness here. The building's `manager' is a bit of a brute woman who - for reasons that are never clearly established - gets accused of withholding the maids' mail. Jean-Louis and Suzanne's two sons appear briefly, but they're given mostly moments so stereotypical that the scenes almost appear like cast-off segments from another film. An obvious gold-digger / widower who apparently preys on wealthy investment bankers is another stock character who adds little to the picture, essentially only fueling Suzanne's fears of her husband's naiveté. I can't help but wonder if a few extra minutes for each of these characters may've provided the depth I thought was missing from their inclusion as is, but that's something that will have to wait until the remake.

However, it's all a very fulfilling film. The `women' from the 6th floor - from the title - refers to where the building's maids all reside in cheap, single room flats. Relegated to this no-frills existence, one would think that these ladies would be beaten down by life - their shoulders slumped, always tired from overwork and abuse - but not these gals! They're full of life! They're primed and ready for whatever challenge comes next! Whenever they can, they help one another out on the job; they share their lives and dreams and experiences with each other; and they've become a family all of their own. It's this current that propels the picture to greater heights - it gives it a tremendous dynamic as these ladies go about everything they do with great zest - and it shows that life for the rich and famous may not be all that it's cracked up to be.

WOMEN is photographed with great attention to colors and location, and it all looks great on the screen. Sadly, the disc comes with no special features to speak off, and this is the kind of human comedy that would've benefitted from a little exploration (commentary, interviews, etc.). Alas, it wasn't meant to be.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. What's hard not to recommend? The cast remains a delight - it's a wickedly clever ensemble of (mostly) blue-collar characters who share their blue-collar world in all of its blue-collar fantasies and foibles

In the interests of fairness, I'm pleased to disclose that the fine folks at Strand Releasing provided me with a DVD screener for the expressed purposes of writing this review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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.


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