Return to tiff.’s home page

Film Description

Film Description



Premiering at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival®, Potiche marks a delightful return to form by prolificFrench director François Ozon (Swimming Pool, 8 Women).  Starring Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu, this is a French farce with a lot on its mind.

In 1977, in the small town of Sainte-Guenole, Suzanne Pujol (Catherine Deneuve, 8 Women, A Christmas Tale) lives the life of a traditional housewife, doting on her grumpy husband, Robert (Fabrice Luchini, Paris, Moliere), who spends his days running her family’s umbrella business into the ground. To her husband and her two grown children, Madame Pujol is a trophy housewife with no real power; in other words, “une potiche.”

Without warning, life for the Pujol family is turned upside down when the workers of the umbrella factory go on strike to protest draconian working conditions, and all hell breaks loose. Robert suffers a heart attack and is ordered to take time off to recover, and Suzanne is left to run the company with the help of her former beau, the town mayor, Maurice Babin (Gérard Depardieu, My Afternoons With Margueritte, Paris Je T’Aime). At first, she is the laughing stock of all the employees, but when she saves the faltering business and fosters the best working conditions in years, opinions quickly change. In fact, no one wants her husband to take back the reins once he’s recovered. But Mr. Pujol will not go down without a fight; using blackmail and forming secret alliances, he’s determined to win back his role as head of the company and head of his household. However, once this veritable Pandora’s box of deception has been opened, Monsieur Pujol will find out that Madame Pujol has more than one trick up her sleeve.

Deneuve is positively luminous as the matriarch learning to flex her muscles, and Depardieu is wonderfully endearing as the passionately Marxist mayor, who still holds a flame for his old petite amie. Delightful, empowering and charming, Potiche is filled with a stylish and charismatic “je ne sais quoi.”


“Ozon's sly feminist comedy is one big gobsmacking pleasure.” - Susan G. Cole, NOW Magazine


Director: Francois Ozon
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Gérard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini, Karin Viard, Judith Godrèche, Jérémie Renier.
Year: 2011
Runtime: 103 minutes
Country: France
Language: French (with English subtitles)
Distributor: Entertainment One

Ratings: ON NR / BC NR / AB NR / SK NR / MB NR / QC NR / Maritmes NR


Date Circuit Centre Location
This film has no active screening dates.
Programmers Login