Women on the 6th Floor, The (Blu-ray) (2010)

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Released 16-May-2012

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy Main Menu Audio & Animation
Interviews-Cast
Featurette-Making Of
Deleted Scenes
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 2010
Running Time 106:19
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Philippe Le Guay
Studio
Distributor

Madman Entertainment
Starring Fabrice Luchini
Sandrine Kiberlain
Natalia Verbeke
Carmen Maura
Lola Dueñas
Berta Ojea
Nuria Solé
Concha Galán
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI ? Music Jorge Arriagada


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None French Linear PCM 48/16 5.1
French Linear PCM 48/16 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English (Burned In) Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     I am definitely a fan of French cinema is all its many guises, from farce to action thriller to this style, the gentle comedy with a touch of romance and drama. This film, The Women on the 6th Floor or Les femmes du 6ème étage reminds me somewhat of another film I reviewed recently My Afternoons with Margueritte not so much because of the story but more due to the style and sweetness of the approach.

     The story is set in Paris 1962 and focuses on the life of married stockbroker, Jean-Louis (Fabrice Luchini). He does a good job running the family firm left to him by his father and lives with his wife, Suzanne (Sandrine Kiberlain) and their French maid, Germaine. They have two sons who are at boarding school. Germaine was his parents’ maid for many years and his mother has recently died. Jean-Louis and Suzanne live in the same luxury apartment as his parents lived in and he grew up in. Suzanne is trying to clear out the mother's old room much to the annoyance of Germaine. This results in Germaine leaving their employ. The house quickly becomes a disaster zone as Suzanne has little interest in housework. She hears from her socialite friends that many people now employ Spanish maids who work harder and argue less. She decides to hire Maria (Natalia Verbeke), who happens to be the niece of one of the other Spanish maids in their building. She has just arrived from Spain but speaks good French and fits into the household well. All the maids live in tiny rooms on the run down sixth floor of the building, with no running water and decrepit toilet facilities. Jean-Louis slowly comes to life as he associates more with the Spanish maids, whose love of life open his mind to simple pleasures and the restrictive nature of his current existence. This realisation has a major impact on his life and those around him.

     This is a film of gentle pleasures, it is warm, heartfelt and whimsical. The acting is of high quality, with one of the Spanish maids, Carmen Maura, winning a Cesar. To my mind though, the lead performance by Fabrice Luchini is the glue that holds the show together. His mixture of uptightness, growth and joy is marvellous.

     This is a thoroughly enjoyable film which you and your granny will love (as long as she doesn't mind subtitles).

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The video quality is very good.

     The feature is presented in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 1080p encoded using AVC.

     The film was shot in HD on the RED cameras which provides great sharpness. Shadow detail was excellent.

     The colour is marvellous showing off the colourful costumes and sets in this film.

     There is some obvious motion blur at times and shimmer especially on clothes.

     There are burned-in subtitles available in English which are reasonably clear and easy to read. These are not a direct translation of the spoken dialogue.

     There are no obvious layer changes during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     The audio quality is very good but front focused.

     This disc contains a French soundtrack in LPCM 5.1 48/16 and a track in French LPCM 2.0.

     Dialogue seemed clear and easy to understand.

     The music by Jorge Arriagarda is a highlight, mixing gypsy and Spanish guitar styles with other orchestral pieces.

     The surround speakers are used for music and mild atmosphere.

     The subwoofer supported the music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     Good selection of extras.

Menu

     The menu included music, action and allowed for scene selection. It is a welcoming start to the presentation.

Cast Interviews (12:10)

     Cast interviews (in French with subtitles) mixed in with scenes from the film, which have different subtitles to the film. There is some interesting and very French discussion here, especially the bit about what sort of wines the director's films are like.

Making of (21:23)

     Combination of behind the scenes footage and interviews with cast and crew (in French with subtitles). Covers the historical accuracy of what was going on in France and Spain at the time plus some info about the filming itself. Worthwhile.

Deleted Scenes (14:19)

     Some worthwhile extra scenes which generally add colour to the lives of the maids, both their original French maid and the Spanish ones.

Theatrical Trailer (2:08)

     Australian Theatrical Trailer.

Other Trailers

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     There only seem to be German and French Region B releases of this film on Blu-ray in addition to the local release, at least at this point. The French one does have English subtitles for the feature although I cannot confirm if the extras are subtitled. I would go for the local release if your main language is English.

Summary

     A gentle, whimsical French comedy.

    The video quality is very good.

     The audio quality is very good.

     The extras are worthwhile.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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