August 17th, 2017       Posted by Frederik       Display Comments

Today, Amanda Sthers’ underdog comedy “Madame” releases Australian cinemas. Reviews have been mixed, ranging from charming to lousy. So, if you’re Australian, make sure to get your own opinion on this indie French film.

Screen Daily, Sarah Ward (August 18, 2017)
Toni Collette and Harvey Keitel might bring star power to upstairs-downstairs comedy Madame, but it’s Rossy de Palma who shines brightest in this English-language debut of French writer turned filmmaker Amanda Sthers. Among the cast, scenes between de Palma and Smiley render him Madame’s second standout player. In fact, it’s Collette and Keitel who make less of an impact, largely thanks to their underwritten characters. One can arch her eyebrows in disdain with the best of them, and the other amble around with charm, but their parts serve the narrative more than their talents

The Herald Sun, Leigh Paatsch (August 16, 2017)
An irksomely erratic French comedy of (bad) manners, Madame would normally have struggled to secure an Australian release. However, the usually inviting presence of our own Toni Collette in a starring role has jemmied open the door. Enter at your own peril. And also be warned that Collette issues one of the few complete performance misfires of her career with a very loud bang. While Collette’s awkward repartee with Keitel (those two as a married couple? Really?) is not so hot, her character’s constant, cruelly bitter jabs at Maria leave a decided chill. A movie that can sometimes turn tolerable (thanks to the unconventionally endearing de Palma, a gem who deserved better than this) just when it’s getting terrible.

Urban Cinefile, Louise Keller (August 15, 2017)
The premise is fun and the Paris setting gorgeous, yet this would be Cinderella story with a twist prickles with contrivance. There is something that grates about the way writer director Amanda Sthers has written her characters, although nothing takes away from the splendid turn by Rossy de Palma. The dinner scene when Maria attracts the attention of David (Michael Smiley), a British aristocrat who clearly is bewitched by her, is a lot of fun, but as the romance progresses, nothing rings true about Anne’s behaviour – or the way Collette has been directed.

Newscom.au, Wenlei Ma (August 14, 2017)
A classic Cinderella story, Madame is a joyful romp through the delights of upper class Paris and the immigrant underclass that serves them. It’s no wonder de Palma is sometimes described as Pedro Almodovar’s muse — she’s worked with him on seven films since 1987. Her Picasso-esque face is extraordinarily expressive and open and she has an incredible screen presence. She is the heart of Madame, even if, the titular “Madame” is Collette’s Anne, at least by frequency of address. The ridiculous Anne (“Louboutin doesn’t even make a size eight!”) borders on caricature at times but this could be a deliberate choice to underscore Maria’s authenticity.




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