You know you are in for a treat when the first image of a film is Catherine Deneuve doing a light jog through the countryside, and Potiche does not let you down. It’s a comedy of manners set in the 1970s and Catherine Deneuve plays Suzanne the wealthy wife of an industrialist who runs the family umbrella business. He’s a sexist jerk and treats his employees poorly so they revolt and take him hostage. Deneuve steps in and starts to run the business, and surprise, she’s not such a Potiche or translated to English — “trophy-wife.” She’s pretty good at the business, the employees like her and she realizes that she has more to give than just staying home with not much to do since her children are grown.
Potiche is a coming of age story for a woman who was not allowed to want to be a business woman or anything else due to when she was born. But the times are changing and the women are changing faster than the men. Once Suzanne is in the business world she wants to stay and do more including run for office. This is a fun film that shows how much things have changed. It’s a great history lesson especially for young women who really don’t believe there was a time when women had less freedom than today.