A gaggle of mothers, wives, daughters, maids, and mistresses gather for a holiday homecoming at their country mansion -- and end up having to solve a murder-mystery -- in this musical-comic homage to studio-era "women's pictures" from acclaimed French director François Ozon. Partly inspired by George Cukor's 1939 classic The Women, 8 Femmes stars Catherine Deneuve as Gaby, a high-society matron just returned to her country house to celebrate Christmas with her husband; mother Mamy (Danielle Darrieux); sister Augustine (Isabelle Huppert); and daughters Suzon (Virginie Ledoyen) and Catharine (Ludivine Sagnier). Not long after they all arrive, however, do they find the man of the house with a knife in his back, whereupon everyone becomes a suspect -- including maids Chanel (Firmine Richard) and Louise (Emmanuelle Béart). The mysterious arrival of Augustine's sister-in-law Pierrette (Fanny Ardant) only complicates matters, as the titular eight women find themselves snowed in by a fierce blizzard, forced to confront the matter of the lifeless husband -- and their long-standing secrets and resentments -- without the aid of the police. Following its immensely successful release in France in early 2002, 8 Women enjoyed much acclaim at the Berlin and Toronto Film Festivals.
by Michael Hastings synopsis