sugoll (sugoll) wrote,

Female Agents

Or, to give it its original title, Les Femmes de l'ombre. I read a review of this in the paper the other week which (IIRC) mentioned Bourne-esque attributes. That's not at all the case, but the film's great anyway. IMDB's blurb says:

In May 1944, a group of French servicewomen and resistance fighters are enlisted into the British Special Operations Executive commando group under the command of Louise Desfontaines and her brother Pierre. Their mission, to rescue a British army geologist caught reconnoitering the beaches at Normandy, and to kill a German SS colonel who is close to figuring out the imminent secret of D-Day, proves to be emotional and brutal.

It continues:

The story is inspired by the accomplishments of decorated SOE agent Lisé de Baissac.

which is a surprise, since I got the impression that it was supposed to be based on real events. Anyway, that aside, I really enjoyed this. The group are a mixed bag of flawed characters with differing motivations for being involved, and reacting differently to the pressures when everything goes pear-shaped. Sophie Marceau is great as Desfontaines, despite being disturbingly reminiscent of Lily Tomlin. I was sure I'd seen Marie Gillian in something else too, but perhaps I'm just thinking of Anne Hatheway. Huge eyes, anyway. Perhaps that's it.

The Bourne-esque comment is misleading. There's none of that quiet competency here, just determination to keep going and to find a way to succeed (or survive - YMMV). And that gives everything more drama. You're never in doubt whether Bourne will make it through to the end of the film, but with a group of six (five women and one man), with training in explosives and radio equipment but not close-quarters killing, there could be serious consequences for any of the characters.

Definitely one of the better films I saw this weekend.

Tags: movies
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