Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Women of 8 Women

Warning contains spoilers!
8 women centers around the 8 women of the household each with their own unique personalities and own secrets.
Mamy (Danielle Darrieux)
Mamy is Marcels mother in Law, mother to Gaby and Augustine and grandmother to Suzon and Catherine. Mamy claims she is wheelchair-bound but it turns out she can actually walk. Mamy refuses to give her bonds to Marcel to save him from ruin and states lies that have been stolen even though she has been living off Marcels hospitality for years. Mamy also reveals that although her husband was a good man she did not love him and could not find fault with him so she killed him. Mamy is represented by a  a violet (and wears violet). Violets represent watchfulness, faithfulness and modesty.

Gaby (Catherine Deneuve)
Gaby is Marcel's wife. It is revealed that Marcel married her when she was already pregnant with Suzon. Gaby is greedy and wants Marcel's money to herself.  It is also later revealed (by Pierette) that Gaby is having an affair with Marcel's business partner (who had financial ruined Marcel) and was planning to leave Marcel the night he was murdered. Later in the movie Gaby is seduced by Pierette and they share a kiss. Gaby is represented by a Cattleya Orchid which represents mature charm.

Augustine (Isabelle Huppert)
Augustine is Marcel's Sister-in-law. She is a neurotic hypochondriac who states she has tachycardia. Augustine says she hate books and reading but it is later revealed (by Pierette) that Augustine is a member of the same book club and reads about 5 romance books a week. Pierette having read the same book as Augustine found a letter lodged in the pages in which Augustine proclaims her love to Marcel.  Augustine is still a virgin despite her age and after asking for advice from Louise the maid on how to seduce men Augustine gives herself a makeover and goes from uptight spinster aunt to siren. Augustine is represented by a thistle which is perhaps a pointer towards her prickly personality but thistle also represent bravery,nobility and loyalty.

Pierette (Fanny Ardant)
Pierette is Marcel's sister. She is an exotic dancer and prostitute and because of this Gaby has banned her from the house. But Pierette visits the house in secret to play cards with cook Chanel (who is also her lover). On the night that he is murdered Pierette goes to ask Marcel for money for her lover who turns out to be the same man that is having an affair with Gaby! Pierette also insinuates that she and Marcel had in the past had an incestuous relationship. Pierette is represented by a red rose(she is always dressed in red) which could come to represent a beauteous flower with throns but red roses mean true love.

Suzon (Virginie Ledoyen)
Suzon is Gaby's eldest daughter who has been away in England at college. During the course of the movie Suzon reveals that she is pregnant her mother is initially shocked an appalled by this and calls her a tramp until Pierette reveals that Gaby was pregnant before she married Marcel. This is how Suzon discovers Marcel is not her father. Later in the film when Suzon is arguing with Catherine she says its a good thing that Marcel is not her father as it was him who impregnated her. Although it is hard to tell if this is true or whether Suzon just says it to shock and spite Catherine or possibly to ensure she is in Marcel's will as she is not a blood relation. Suzon is represented by a pink rose (she is always dressed in pink) which represent grace, gentility and happiness.

Catherine (Ludivine Sagnier)
Catherine is Marcel's and Gaby youngest daughter. She is devoted to her father (perhaps a little too devoted) and hatches the plan to stage his murder in order to reveal all the women's secrets and lies. However she fails to realise her own faults of being too self-involved and self-righteous and does not see that hurt that revealing all these secrets would do her father thinking its just a game until its too late and her father commits suicide. Catherine is represented by a daisy which is a flower associated with being a child (making daisy chains ect) but also represents innocence, loyal love, purity, faith, cheer and simplicity.

Madame Chanel (Firmine Richard)
Chanel has been the families devoted cook for years but it is revealed that she is a lesbian and that Pierette is her lover who comes over to her lodge to play cards and stays the night. Mamy and Gaby are shocked by this. Chanel works out that Marcel's murder has been staged after seeing him at his bedroom window but stays quiet after a gunshot narrowly misses her. Chanel is represented by a Sunflower which mean pure and lofty thoughts.

Louise (Emmanuelle Béart)
Louise is the family's new chambermaid although it turns out that she and Marcel had been having an affair for years so when theres an opening at the house for a chambermaid she gets herself hired. Chanel does not like Louise and claims she is a 'slut' and Pierette says they have slept with the same people. Louise states that Gaby knew of her and Marcel's affair and was happy as it relieved Gaby of her 'marital duties'. Louise is represented by an phalaenopsis orchid which stand for refined beauty and luxury.

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