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Les Femmes de L'ombre (France)

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Les Femmes de L'ombre (France)

Old 06-22-08, 02:58 AM
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Les Femmes de L'ombre (France)



Jean-Paul Salomé's Les Femmes de L'ombre (2008) starring Sophie Marceau, Marie Gillain, and Julie Depardieu has been set to be released on September 7th in France/Monaco.

Official UK distro site:
http://www.femaleagents.co.uk/

Variety:

By JAY WEISSBERG

A bevy of resolute gals go undercover against the Nazis to conceal Allied plans for the D-Day invasion in "Female Agents," an old-fashioned period adventure that radiates star wattage but doesn't exactly shine in the script department. A sort of "Girls With Guns 2" for helmer Jean-Paul Salome, pic has a slick look and exciting WWII setting that help plaster over its generic feel and generally one-note perfs ("Look determined!" must have been Salome's chief instruction). Name cast and Gauls' fondness for Resistance tales should result in stellar B.O. on release March 5, with certain reach into Francophile markets worldwide.

Plot was inspired by heroic partisan leader Lise Villameur, though pic conflates fictional main character Louise Desfontaines with the real Villameur and changes the latter's story significantly. Still, as a popular tribute to the tenacity and bravery of these often unsung Resistance heroines, pic deserves its fair share of salutes.

A nicely shot ambush scene in a steamy French train station segues into the arrival of Louise (Sophie Marceau) in London, where she has a rendezvous with her brother Pierre (Julien Boisselier) and is given orders by spymaster Maurice Buckmaster (Colin David Reese) to round up some female agents. Their mission: Rescue a wounded British geologist (Conrad Cecil) from a hospital in occupied France before the Nazis figure out who he is and torture him for information on D-Day.

Recruitment for this dangerous assignment isn't easy, making blackmail necessary. First on board is tough prostitute Jeanne (Julie Depardieu), followed by young explosives expert Gaelle (Deborah Francois) and, finally, showgirl Suzy (Marie Gillain), whose former relationship with a Nazi officer makes her unwitting bait. Parachuted into France, they meet up with Jewish Countess Maria Luzzato (Maya Sansa) and together rescue the geologist just as he's being tortured by order of Col. Heindrich (Moritz Bleibtreu).

Escape isn't so easy, and with Pierre and Gaelle captured, the agents must work to outwit the Germans and pluck off the colonel. A subway-station scene reps pic's most skilled moment, as sightlines intersect and the ensuing gun battle foils plans and further reduces numbers.

Though its main focus is on Louise, the film is really an ensembler with only the most basic, broad-stroke characterizations. Jeanne is the hard-nosed hooker looking to bail until she's converted to the cause; innocent Gaelle is sustained by a faith echoed in an unnecessarily sappy coda; lovelorn Suzy musters the courage to turn Mata Hari. Script isn't nuanced enough to avoid a deja-vu feeling.

Keeping her face in a fixed expression through most scenes, Marceau (also in Salome's "Belphagor") plays best when confronting the underlying tensions between Louise and Pierre. Bleibtreu makes a less stereotypical Nazi in a perf that would sit comfortably in wartime romances from the period. English thesps recite stilted lines more in keeping with BBC takeoffs than proper dramas.

WWII flavor is handsomely captured, combining richly textured studio shooting with location work (including real Paris boulevards draped in swastikas). D.p. Pascal Ridao (also on Salome's "Arsene Lupin") catches the look of '40s color newsreels, but elsewhere, rooms appear to be swathed entirely in mist, like a poor imitation of Alexander Sokurov. A monochrome scene in an English pub overdoes the filters.

Camera (color), Pascal Ridao; editor, Marie-Pierre Renaud; music, Bruno Coulais; production designer, Francoise Dupertuis; costume designer, Pierre-Jean Larroque; sound (Dolby DTS), Laurent Poirier, Vincent Guillon; assistant director, Serge Onteniente; casting, Stephane Foenkinos. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (market), Feb. 8, 2008. Running time: 116 MIN.

With: Vincent Rottiers, Volker Bruch, Robin Renucci, Xavier Beauvois, Colin David Reese, Juergen Mash, Conrad Cecil, Alexandre Jazede, David Capelle, Wolfgang Pissors, Chantal Garrigues, James Gerard, Edward Hamilton-Clark.
(French, German, English dialogue)
Pro-B
Old 07-05-08, 01:00 AM
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The UK release is set for October 13th.

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Old 07-05-08, 11:47 PM
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Nice! Would there be Blu-Ray of this?
Old 07-06-08, 04:02 AM
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I have not seen any information suggesting there will be. I will update the thread if such becomes available.

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Old 07-17-08, 06:21 PM
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I saw this movie today... very enjoyable, and a consistently entertaining and involving 2 hours. I thought Salome's Belphegor and Arsene Lupin were both wildly uneven, but this was a far more satisfying affair.
I think I will pick this up in some version or other - the 2-disc France R2 looks quite enticing, as I'm sure the bonus material for this film would make for interesting viewing.
Just to check a small detail: Pro-B - as the date mentioned in post #1 is a Sunday, I assume this is actually coming out the preceding Wednesday (Sep 4th)?
Anyway, a fine film - definitely recommended.

Dazza.
Old 07-18-08, 03:05 PM
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Hello Dazza,

Two updates:

The film is also getting a Blu-ray release on the same date, which is: September 4th (this should bode well for us as La Mome a.k.a La Vie en Rose was also produced by TF1, was region-free, and English-subbed. I don't have specs for this one yet).

Ciao,
Pro-B
Old 07-18-08, 06:33 PM
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OK - thanks for the confirmation & update, Pro-B

Dazza.
Old 07-19-08, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
Hello Dazza,

Two updates:

The film is also getting a Blu-ray release on the same date, which is: September 4th
Thanks for the info. Now waiting for the review.
Old 07-26-08, 12:02 AM
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It is a steelbook release
Old 07-26-08, 02:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Morphine1680
It is a steelbook release
I like the way they used original poster for the cover.
Old 08-11-08, 03:39 AM
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Originally Posted by pum
Nice! Would there be Blu-Ray of this?
October 13th for the UK release by Optimum. Region-locked.

Pro-B
Old 08-12-08, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
October 13th for the UK release by Optimum. Region-locked.

Pro-B
Any chance the French Blu-Ray version will be region free and/or have English subtitles?

Last edited by V2Savid; 08-12-08 at 09:18 PM.
Old 08-12-08, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by V2Savid
Any chance the French Blu-Ray version will be region free and/or have English subtitles?
I cannot confirm at the moment.

Pro-B
Old 09-02-08, 09:29 AM
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I just ordered the cheaper Thai PAL dvd version available right now at www.ethaicd.com for $12.50....it's got French DD 5.1, English subtitles, and probably anamorphic widescreen..
Old 09-03-08, 03:44 PM
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I know this comes out this week, any update on the Blu-ray as far as if it is region-free? Also, any English subtitles? I see there is a nice steel version of FNAC, not sure if Amazon has the same steel version or if it is an FNAC exclusive...

Thanks!
Old 09-03-08, 11:41 PM
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Im so looking forward for this steelbook, I hope it has subs and region free
Old 09-04-08, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by V2David View Post
I know this comes out this week, any update on the Blu-ray as far as if it is region-free? Also, any English subtitles? I see there is a nice steel version of FNAC, not sure if Amazon has the same steel version or if it is an FNAC exclusive...

Thanks!
There are two separate Blu-Ray discs set to be released - French and British. On the British disc the preliminary info is that it is region-locked.

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Old 09-07-08, 08:30 AM
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I asked some1 ebaying a copy in ebay.fr and he said no english subs
Old 09-07-08, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Morphine1680 View Post
I asked some1 ebaying a copy in ebay.fr and he said no english subs
As I mentioned earlier, the UK release is your ticket.

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Old 09-15-08, 01:57 PM
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It's a fairly entertaining flick. not really worth watching again though. It ain't no Black Book! The Thai PAL DVD had interlaced anamorphic video by the way.

THAI PAL DVD:
Video: 7
Audio: 9
English subtitles: 7
Old 09-15-08, 03:26 PM
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Originally Posted by V2David View Post
Any chance the French Blu-Ray version will be region free and/or have English subtitles?
TF1 confirmed every Blu-Ray releases will be region B and in steelbook cases and they will look for the better sources in image
and sound around the world, restore the image and sound if needed and use MPEG4/AVC for video and DTS-HD for audio.

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