The Women on the 6th Floor
Jean-Louis and his wife Suzanne live a very affluent and conservative lifestyle in 1960s Paris. Their children are in boarding school and they go about their daily routine with little enthusiasm. They lose their long time maid during an argument, and have to hire a new one. They hire Maria, a newly immigrated Spanish woman who is living on the 6th Floor of their building with the other Spanish maids.
Maria has a charming affect on Jean-Louis, who slowly ventures up into their world on the 6th floor. As he moves into the world of the Spanish women, he moves away from his wife who stays down below. He helps the women by improving their appalling living conditions. The women give him something that has been lacking in his life and for the first time, he begins to think about himself and what he wants.
This is an immensely charming film. I am captivated by Sandrine Kiberlain who plays Suzanne – she is such a striking woman and not at all like the Hollywood actors playing leading rom com roles. Maria, also, played by Verbeke, is fresh and uncharacteristic. As a break from the Hollywood guff, I highly recommend this film. It has depth (exploring the issues faced by exploited immigrants in the 60s in Paris, and the political situation in Spain during Franco) and it has lightness (the closeness of the women, their customs, and romance).