French theatrical release poster
|Based on||Huit femmes|
|Edited by||Laurence Bawedin|
|Box office||$42.4 million|
8 Women (
Ozon initially envisioned a
The film's premiere was held on 8 January 2002 in
The film is set in the 1950s in a large country residence as a family and its servants are preparing for
The scene opens with Suzon returning from school for Christmas break, finding her mother Gaby, her younger sister Catherine, and her
The maid takes a tray upstairs, finds Marcel's stabbed body, and screams. Catherine goes up to see what has happened and locks the door. The others finally go up to Marcel's room to see him stabbed in the back. Catherine tells the others that they should not disturb the room until the police arrive, so they re-lock the door. Realizing that the dogs did not bark the night before the incident, it becomes clear that the murderer was known to the dogs and therefore must be one of the women in the house. Attempting to call the authorities, they find that the telephone line has been cut, so they will have to go in person to the police station. Before they can do so, the women are distracted by the announcement that someone is roaming the garden, someone whom the guard dogs are not chasing. The person turns out to be Marcel's sister Pierrette, a
It is realized that she has been to the house before, as the dogs did not bark and she knew immediately which room belonged to her brother, making her the eighth potential killer. The women try to start the car, and find that it has been sabotaged, cutting them off from help until the storm subsides and they can hitchhike to town. The women spend their time trying to identify the murderer amongst them. It is learned that Suzon returned the night before to tell her father in secret that she was
Suspicion then swings to Madame Chanel, the housekeeper, whose actions the night before seem suspicious. It is revealed that she had been having an affair with Pierrette, who went to see her brother that night to ask for money to pay off her debts. When some members of the family react in outrage to the fact that she is a
In the meantime we find out that Mamy, Suzon and Catherine's "old and sick" grandmother, not only can walk but also possesses some valuable stock shares that could have saved Marcel from his bankruptcy. Out of greed, she lied that her shares had been stolen by someone who knew where she was hiding them. The spotlight moves to Louise, the new maid, who is found out to be Marcel's mistress. She declares affection for Gaby, but also expresses disappointment in her for her weakness and indecision. She sings "Pile ou Face" (literally Heads or Tails, but referring to the Ups and Downs of life), and removes the symbols of her servitude, her maid's cap and apron, asserting herself as an equal to the other women. Gaby sings "Toi Jamais" (Never You), about Marcel, saying that he never paid enough attention to her, while other men did. It is revealed that she had an affair with Marcel's business partner, Jacques Farneaux, the same man who has been having an affair with Pierrette. The two women get into a fight that turns into a passionate make-out session on the living room floor, a scene which the others walk in on and are stunned by.
Eventually, Madame Chanel discovers the solution to the mystery, but she is silenced by a gunshot. While not struck by the bullet, she becomes mute out of shock. Catherine takes the lead, revealing that she hid in her father's closet from where she saw all the other women talk to Marcel the night before. She explains the mystery: Marcel faked his own death, with her help, to see what was really going on in his house. She says that he is now free of the other women's clutches and rushes to his bedroom only to witness Marcel shoot himself in the head. Mamy closes the film with the song "Il n'y a pas d'amour heureux" (There is no happy love) as the women clasp hands and face the audience.