Female Agents (2008) Poster

Female Agents (2008)

  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 3,301 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | History | War
  • Release Date: 5 March 2008 (Belgium)
  • Runtime: Germany:117 min
Our Score
95/100
982 user reviews.

User Score (vote now)
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars


You're here : » » Female Agents (2008)...

Warning: simplexml_load_file(http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/base/videos?q=Female+Agents+2008+trailer&client=ytapi-youtube-search&alt=rss&v=2&max-results=7): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.0 410 Gone in /home/easymovy/public_html/wp-content/themes/streamplex/functions.php on line 50

Warning: simplexml_load_file(): I/O warning : failed to load external entity "http://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/base/videos?q=Female+Agents+2008+trailer&client=ytapi-youtube-search&alt=rss&v=2&max-results=7" in /home/easymovy/public_html/wp-content/themes/streamplex/functions.php on line 50

Female Agents (2008)

Share/Bookmark

Female Agents 2008tt0824330.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Female Agents (2008)
  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 3,301 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | History | War
  • Release Date: 5 March 2008 (Belgium)
  • Runtime: Germany:117 min
  • Gross: £68,412(UK)(29 June 2008)
  • Director: Jean-Paul Salomé
  • Stars: Sophie Marceau, Julie Depardieu and Moritz Bleibtreu
  • Original Music By: Bruno Coulais   
  • Sound Mix: DTS | Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Normandy | Rescue | D Day | Hospital | Commando

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Jean-Paul Salomé  writer
  • Laurent Vachaud  writer

Known Trivia

    Goofs: Anachronisms: The film portrays events leading up to the events of D-Day, yet the aircraft parachuting the girls into France displays invasion stripes, which were painted onto aircraft at the time of the D-Day landings to ease recognition of Allied aircraft.

    Plot: In May 1944, a group of French servicewomen and resistance fighters are enlisted into the British Special… See more »  »

    Story: 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. The story is inspired by the accomplishments of decorated SOE agent Lisé de Baissac.Written by Anonymous  

    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Tracey Cuesta known as supervising producer: Dominican Republic
    • Éric Névé known as producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Sophie Marceau known as Louise Desfontaines
    • Julie Depardieu known as Jeanne Faussier
    • Marie Gillain known as Suzy Desprez
    • Déborah François known as Gaëlle Lemenech
    • Moritz Bleibtreu known as Karl Heindrich
    • Maya Sansa known as Maria Luzzato
    • Julien Boisselier known as Pierre Desfontaines
    • Vincent Rottiers known as Eddy
    • Volker Bruch known as Lieutenant Becker
    • Robin Renucci known as Melchior
    • Xavier Beauvois known as Claude Granville
    • Colin David Reese known as Colonel Maurice Buckmaster
    • Jurgen Mash known as Gerd Von Rundstedt
    • Conrad Cecil known as Le géologue anglais
    • Alexandre Jazede known as René Bourienne
    • David Capelle known as Bernard Quesnot
    • Wolfgang Pissors known as Médecin train
    • Chantal Garrigues known as Mme Duchemin
    • James Gerard known as Officier anglais 1
    • Edward Hamilton-Clark known as Officier anglais 2
    • Marc Bertolini known as Moustachu train
    • Rainer Sievert known as Lieutenant hôpital Normandie
    • Ashley Wanninger known as Soldat radio cour hôpital
    • Natasha Cashman known as Secrétaire Buckmaster
    • Stanislas Kemper known as Pilote Jeanne RAF
    • Simon Boyle known as Dispatcher
    • Olivier De Wispelaere known as Feld gendarme St Lazare
    • Johannes Oliver Hamm known as Major SS train
    • David Van Severen known as Caporal Pioche
    • Sarah Tullamort known as Nurse hôpital anglais
    • Philippe Soutan known as Poinçonneur Baratier
    • Yves Heck known as Conducteur métro
    • Stéphane Foenkinos known as Contrôleur train
    • Christophe Grofer known as Sentinelle G2
    • Stefan Kollmuss known as Officier Wehrmacht St Germain
    • Fabian Arning known as Soldat Pierre
    • Olivier Beraud-Bedouin known as Le milicien (as Olivier Beraud)
    • Alex Lutz known as Soldat fourgon
    • Jan Oliver Schroeder known as Garde entrée hôpital
    • Serge Boutleroff known as Concierge hôtel Régent (as Serge Onteniente)
    • Antoine Salomé known as Groom Régent
    • Andrew W. Wilson known as Prêtre catholique aérodrome
    • Ida Techer known as La surveillante couloir

    ..

     

    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Franck-Pascal Alquinet known as additional hair stylist
    • Nurith Barkan known as key makeup artist
    • Sabrina Bernard known as additional makeup artist
    • Franck Berteau known as additional hair stylist
    • Annouschka Berthézène known as additional makeup artist
    • Pascale Bouquière known as additional makeup artist
    • Gérard Carrissimoux known as additional hair stylist
    • Fanny Casino known as trainee makeup artist
    • Magali Ceyrat known as additional makeup artist
    • Sidonie Constantin known as additional hair stylist (as Sidonie Constantien)
    • Catherine Damiani known as additional makeup artist (as Cathy Damiani)
    • Michèle Decanini known as additional hair stylist (as Michel Decanini)
    • Michel Demonteix known as hair stylist: extras
    • Joëlle Dominique known as additional hair stylist
    • Florence Dupuis known as additional makeup artist
    • Guy Espitallier known as additional makeup artist
    • Françoise Fichet known as additional hair stylist
    • Bernard Floch known as additional makeup artist
    • Céline Fontenaud known as additional makeup artist
    • Odile Fourquin known as key makeup artist
    • Fabienne Gervais known as makeup artist: extras
    • Sylvie Greco known as makeup artist
    • Karina Gruais known as additional makeup artist
    • Anouk Grégoire known as additional hair stylist
    • Mathieu Gueracague known as additional hair stylist (as Mathieu Gueraçague)
    • Marie-Anne Hum known as additional makeup artist
    • Mathilde Humeau known as additional makeup artist
    • Patrice Iva known as hair stylist: extras
    • Brigitte Laurent known as key hair stylist
    • Brigitte Le Goff known as key hair stylist
    • Catherine Leblanc known as additional hair stylist
    • Olivia Lequimener known as additional hair stylist
    • Françoise Malet known as additional makeup artist
    • Sylvie Mathevet known as key hair stylist
    • Sophie Mollier known as additional makeup artist
    • Christophe Morin known as additional hair stylist
    • Emmanuel Pitois known as special makeup effects artist
    • Patricia Planche known as additional makeup artist
    • Miguel Santos known as additional hair stylist
    • Christine Skourtis known as additional hair stylist
    • Jacqueline Stuffel known as additional hair stylist
    • Marie-France Thibault known as additional hair stylist
    • Chloé Van Lierde known as special makeup effects artist
    • Catherine Vrignaud known as additional makeup artist

    Art Department:

    • Eric Baudrais known as dressing props
    • Nicolas Brisset known as second assistant decorator
    • Jean-Luc Cabaret known as dressing props
    • Pascal Chevé known as plasterer
    • Constant Clavier known as assistant property master
    • Théophile de Montalivet known as carpenter
    • Caroline Descubes known as assistant set dresser
    • Hervé Dépagne known as property coordinator
    • Frédéric Faye known as head painter
    • Emmanuel Maintigneux known as set designer
    • Xavier Marty known as construction coordinator
    • Jacques Mizrahi known as carpenter
    • Sébastien Monteux-Halleur known as set dresser
    • Yvon Moreno known as property master
    • Michel Paris known as first assistant decorator
    • Patrick Pellegrin known as dressing props
    • Xavier Vantaggi known as painter
    • Virginie Verdeaux known as assistant art director
    • Pauline Lefevere known as assistant art director (uncredited)

    ..

     

    Company

    Production Companies:

    • Les Chauves-Souris (presented by)
    • Banque Populaire Images 7 (in association with)
    • Banque Populaire Images 8 (in association with)
    • Canal+ (with the participation of)
    • Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC) (in association with)
    • CinéCinéma (with the participation of)
    • Cofimage 18 (in association with)
    • Cofinova 4 (in association with)
    • Poste Image (in association with)
    • Restons Groupés Production (in co-production with)
    • Région Ile-de-France (with the support of)
    • Sofica Valor 7 (in association with)
    • TF1 Films Production (in co-production with)
    • TF1 International (in co-production with)

    Other Companies:

    • Aerial Camera Systems  helicopter gyrostabilized camera system

    Distributors:

    • Cinéart (2008) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
    • TFM Distribution (2008) (France) (theatrical)
    • Vertice Cine (2009) (Spain) (theatrical)
    • Atlantic Film (2008) (Sweden) (DVD)
    • Koch Media (2009) (Germany) (DVD)
    • One Movie (2011) (Italy) (all media)
    • Revolver Entertainment (2008) (UK) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
    • Vendetta Films (2008) (New Zealand) (DVD)

    ..

     

    Other Stuff

    Special Effects:

    • Mac Guff Ligne (visual effects)

    Visual Effects by:

    • Guillaume Bauer known as digital compositor
    • Odile Beraud known as scan and shoot
    • Fabien Coupez known as flame artist
    • Sebastien Dupuis known as visual effects artist
    • Sebastien Gombeaud-Saintonge known as Flame artist: Mac Guff Ligne, Paris
    • Amélie Guyot known as on-set matchmover
    • Peregrine McCafferty known as matchmove artist
    • Patrick Siboni known as digital compositor: Flame artist
    • Philippe Sonrier known as visual effects supervisor

    Release Date:

    • Germany 8 February 2008 (European Film Market)
    • Belgium 5 March 2008
    • France 5 March 2008
    • Japan 14 March 2008 (Festival du Film Français au Japon)
    • USA 13 June 2008 (Seattle International Film Festival)
    • Ireland 27 June 2008
    • UK 27 June 2008
    • Thailand 10 July 2008
    • Greece 31 July 2008
    • Australia 7 August 2008
    • Portugal 9 October 2008
    • Finland 26 November 2008 (DVD premiere)
    • Germany 12 December 2008 (DVD premiere)
    • Greece 6 April 2009 (Festival du Film Francophone)
    • Spain 8 April 2009
    • Hungary 17 April 2009 (French Film Days)
    • Hungary 14 May 2009
    • Kuwait 20 September 2009
    • Japan 27 November 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • Sweden 9 August 2010 (TV premiere)
    • Italy 27 October 2011 (DVD premiere)

    ..

     
     

    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database


    Female Agents (2008) Related Movie


    The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014) Movie Poster
    Craig (2008) Movie Poster
    Date Night (2010) Movie Poster
    The Greatest (2009) Movie Poster
    One Last Sunset (2010) Movie Poster


    Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , .

    10 Comments

    1. Wilhelm Fitzpatrick (rafial@well.com) from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 10:14 pm

      I saw this film at this years Seattle International Film Festival, andother than the bizarre choice of "Female Agents" as the English title,I loved it. I think a more direct translation of the title as "Women ofthe Shadows" or some such would have been much more evocative.

      The film itself is a gritty WWII espionage drama in the classic mold,with the team of misfits being assembled to do the job that only theycan do. Only in this case, they are women. The film does not shrinkfrom the grittiness and danger of the mission, especially when itextends to several gutwrenching interrogation scenes. There is nochivalry in this war. Moritz Bleibtreu is especially effective as an SSColonel who believes himself to be a decent man, doing only what hemust, yet in reality committing atrocity after atrocity.

      Special effects are well used to give us occupied Paris in greatdetail, and the whole look of the film is quite stylish. A recommendedfilm!

    2. seawalker from Birmingham, England
      30 Mar 2012, 10:14 pm

      1944. An undercover agent working for the Allies, holding vitalinformation about the future D-Day landings, is trapped in a Frenchhospital, behind enemy lines. The agent is potentially only hours awayfrom being discovered by the SS, and so the British StrategicOperations Executive put together a team of French speaking agentsrescue him. Except for the commanding officer, the team are allwomen…

      Oh, yes. That sounded like just the ticket. Definitely a bit of a romp.Something along the lines of a 1940's set "Mission: Impossible".Stunts, action sequences, beautiful women with serious weaponry usingtheir womanly wiles to run rings around evil, horny Nazis.

      Forget it. "Les Femmes de l'ombre" was not that film. The girls werebeautiful, there was some de rigeur European nudity and also plenty offirepower and action, but "Les Femmes de l'ombre" was a much more real,bleak and thoughtful film than I expected. Bloody, nasty and sadistic,not to mention dangerous with some toe curling scenes of torture. Mixin with that meditations on fear, betrayal and ultimate self sacrifice.

      Perhaps "Les Femmes de l'ombre" was uneven, but it was also a reallyinteresting take on that old chestnut: The war movie about a team sentbehind enemy lines on a vital mission. I doubt that Tarantino will makea more memorable film when and if he finally finishes "IngloriousBastards".

    3. John Wakeman from United Kingdom
      30 Mar 2012, 10:14 pm

      I happened to see 'The Dark Knight' the night before I saw this, andfelt somewhat unsatisfied by it. This film (which I hadn't even heardof until yesterday) by contrast, provided what I'd been looking for:dark, yes – very, but evoking real emotional depth and a sense of theambiguity and terrible moral choices that have to be faced in wartime.And completely gripping, excellently acted. The fact that theunderlying scenario has been used before is completely irrelevant – howmany films have been made about 'two people falling in love' forexample? This is not only an excellently realised 'wartime adventure'story – it's a harrowing and thought-provoking film which willdefinitely stay with you. Get to see it if you can.

    4. come2whereimfrom from United Kingdom
      30 Mar 2012, 10:14 pm

      Whereas a lot of films and television over the years has made war seema very one-sided affair and concentrated on things from a very malepoint of view, very few have dealt with the roles that women hadplayed. Set during world war II Female Agents tell of one such group ofagents on a mission for the British government behind enemy lines inFrance in 1944. The mission, to rescue a British geologist who wascaught on the beaches of Normandy, the information he has is crucial tothe success of the D-day landings. Also there is an SS colonel who isintent on cracking the geologists riddle and thwarting the alliedattacks who must be killed no matter what the cost. Assembling thegroup a brother and sister team chose girls because of theirbackgrounds and skills and after a one day refresher course in fieldskills they are off. From this point on the film thanks to the story(based in truth) the acting (universally brilliant) and thecinematography (breathtaking) grips like a vice and doesn't let upuntil the credits roll. Challenging and at times brutal it shows invery real terms what people went through and what they sacrificed tobring down the evil Nazi regime. It shows us a time that although wedon't want to remember we should never forget and this film is a fineexample of the heroic work done by individuals that eventually securedour freedom as a whole. A must see movie for so many reasons.

    5. robert-temple-1 from United Kingdom
      30 Mar 2012, 10:14 pm

      This is a very exciting and effective film about female espionageagents of the British S.O.E. (Special Operations Executive) duringWorld War II. It is ironical that it is the French, not the British,who made this film, in which only a few sentences of English arespoken. The English subtitles are really too rapid, I must point out.Apart from a few scenes set in England, the film effectively all takesplace in Nazi Occupied France under the revolting Vichy Regime in 1944,where all the dangerous missions in the story take place. As the filmproceeds, we realize that the underlying threat is that the secrets ofthe D-Day Normandy landings are in danger of being betrayed, thusdestroying their surprise value and enabling the Nazis to win the War.So the stakes could not be higher. According to titles shown at the endof the film, this story is in many respects true, and the leadcharacter played with tremendous, bitter panache by Sophie Marceau onlydied as recently as 2004 at the age of 98! As she was a French woman,though working as an agent for the SOE (and her brother worked for DeGaulle's Free French in London), that must explain why her story wasknown in France, and why it was French producers who decided to filmit. The story as filmed contains countless inaccuracies of procedureand plot which could never really have happened, and some details areridiculous (a sister and brother sent on the same mission together!?).So the story has been greatly hyped-up to 'Hollywoodize' it, by theFrench Hollywood, which we might perhaps call by the name ofTuileriewood-en-Seine, or Tile-Town as opposed to Tinsel-Town ('a nightout on the tiles' being a good description for some Paris evenings).The film starts rather slowly, and one is not certain that it is goingto work at first. But when it gets into its stride, it is gripping andcoherent. There are many grisly scenes of torture by the Gestapo, whichtake a strong stomach, and seeing Nazis savagely and maniacally beatingup women and nearly drowning them in water tanks, even pulling outtheir finger nails (this is done to the delicately beautiful actressDeborah Francois, who appears as fragile as the petals of a flutteringchamomile flower on a windy day), is more than merely upsetting.However, it was obviously decided by the producers that these prettyyoung women were to be treated with as much grit as men, both in theiractions and in the depiction of their fates. It is no bad thing toremind viewers of how the Nazis behaved, and that they really did thesethings. There are some detailed touches which add to the horror of itall: a Gestapo woman clerk sits impassively at a small wooden tablemaking notes, wholly unmoved by the agonized shrieks and screams of thewomen being tortured in front of her. As for the Nazi SS colonelsupervising all of this and trying to get the information out of them,he could not be more bored and oblivious to the suffering and thescreams, which to him are merely tedious. To the Nazis, torturing humanbeings was no different from stepping on ants. If it accomplishesnothing else, perhaps this film will make a few young people think fora moment about a War which to them is now 'long ago and far away', andwhy should they be interested. Just seeing a screen title informing usthat the Gestapo's Paris Headquarters was in Avenue Foch is enough toprecipitate a mild attack of hysteria. That is where all thebillionaires now live in luxury. I have been in a couple of their grandhouses, and all I can say is: 'Nom de Dieu!' And to think that it wasin those surroundings, where the super-rich now besport themselves withtheir vintage Cristal champagne (I must admit it is delicious, but noone really needs it), that the Gestapo pulled out the finger nails ofbeautiful girls in their early twenties and thought nothing of it,merely finding their screams of pain a bore! Do see this film, if onlyto be horrified and appalled, but also to admire the courage of thewomen, not only the men, who gave their lives to defeat the greatestevil that befell a much-accursed earth during the 20th century, theregime of the monstrous instruments of Evil who dared to callthemselves a Master Race.

    6. adthe_lad from Spain
      30 Mar 2012, 10:14 pm

      A film that pays homage to the bravery of the women of SOE whoparachuted into occupied France has long been overdue and in my opinionis still to be made as this film falls short of the mark, however, notas insultingly as the Charlotte Gray film did, where the woman agentwas portrayed as delicate and ditched her mission for the sake of aromance. For a European production this movie is surprisingly dumbeddown and makes the same senseless historical mistakes usuallyassociated with mechanically produced Hollywood films. This is noatmospheric masterpiece as the characters are shallow, the script istoo basic and the camera work is conventional. It feels as if the filmwere made in a hurry, which is a shame as they definitely had theresources available to make it visually convincing with plenty ofvintage cars, Kubelwagens, costumes, planes, trains and cool locationsetc…This film could be OK for people who just want some eye candy for90 minutes.

      Justice has so far only been made to the real women agents in books andit is scandalous how film makers have overlooked the potential formaking a credible movie given the abundance of real and amazingmaterial out there. Why Directors who have so far tackled this subjecthave ruined it all with fictional nonsense,is anybodies guess. If youare really interested in the subject you should read about agents suchas Nancy Wake or the revealing book by Marcus Binney titled "The womenwho lived for danger", which tells the gripping stories of 10 differentagents. There was also an excellent channel 4 documentary called "TheReal Charlotte Grays".

      Fiction vs historical fact (Contains Spoilers)…………. As an avidreader of everything SOE I was groaning early on in this film as thehistorical facts were shamelessly trampled under foot by the director.First off they have Maurice Buckmaster telling war secrets to a womanwho hasn't even decided whether to accept the mission yet. She thengoes on to recruit women who are not interested in going, which is aninsult to the real agents as they were highly motivated people who werevetted by SOE on a very strict basis. Then the 5 agents go to Francewithout any training and travel together on trains without taking anysecurity measures. 5 agents together on a train? What were theythinking? Whatsmore, they all get off at a main Paris station ratherthan get off one stop before and bus in to avoid the German presencethey knew would be at all main stations…The story about the geologiston the beach, a week before the Normandy invasion is just plainridiculous. As if they didn't know the density of the sand till a weekbefore the operation. Finally, SOE never sent brothers and sisters ormarried couples together on missions for the simple fact that theycould be tortured in front of each other to make them talk. When arethey going to make "The Movie" about SOE?

    7. TrevorAclea from London, England
      30 Mar 2012, 10:14 pm

      While French title Les Femmes de l'Ombre may aspire to Jean-PierreMelville, English translation Female Agents is closer to the mark,though this surprisingly well reviewed but increasingly hokey story ofa quintet of French SOE agents in occupied France might have been moreaccurately called Ou Babes Audace. Its group of poorly definedstereotypes led by Sophie Marceau at her most coldly unlikeable aresent to rescue a British geologist on whom the success of D-Day dependsfrom a German army hospital in Normandy, which they manage withunlikely ease with a couple of nurses outfits, a striptease show and alot of unlikely machinegun fire and explosions, but it turns out thegals have been misled by Marceau's estranged brother and superior inthe SOE Julien Boisselier. They're also expected to assassinate aGerman SS officer with a severe case of vertigo (the Hitchcock kind –he's searching for a double of the French girl who jilted him at thealtar and ran off to England), and wouldn't you know it, team memberMarie Gillain isn't just a dead ringer for her, she actually is his ex.From then on, what had been a fairly handsomely mounted, efficient butnot terribly exciting potboiler becomes an increasingly absurd mess ofincreasingly moronic and unconvincing contrivance and coincidence-pronehokum that loses most of its relation to reality and sheds IQ points bythe reel. Naturally, the girls keep on fudging their mission for noother reason than to kill off another member of the team until it hasbecome so nonsensical that it's threatening to outstay what littlewelcome it has left.

      There's not much room for characterisation until the last third, whichis leaving it a bit late for us to care about anyone. Moreau is at hermost determinedly disagreeable, something the script does at leastbriefly try to address by having one character note that "Pity isn'tyour strong point. Try to be a little bit human for once."Unfortunately when she does it simply shows up her limitations, puttingyou in mind more of Frasier Crane's ex-wife Lilith than the likes ofOdette Sanson or Violette Szabo, though she has more to work with thanthe clichéd dilemmas facing the other characters. Will the one-timecollaborator sleep with her ex or kill him? Will cynical death rowwhore Julie Depardieu discover idealism? Will the nice Catholic girlDeborah Francois commit suicide to avoid torture? Will aCGi-resurrected Anton Diffring and Ferdy Mayne turn up for old clichéssake? These people simply act like they're in an old war movie ratherthan real people, going through scenes designed as would-be moviesetpieces rather than convincing or involving drama. Small wonder thatMoritz Bleibtrau's German villain is the closest the film has to aconvincing character: he at least behaves as if he belongs in the timeand place more often than not.

      There's some cynicism thrown in along the way to try to make it allseem less clichéd – it's the De Gaullist in the group who cracksinstantly under the threat of torture and betrays them while a blackmarketeer is neatly derided: "Start with the Germans, end the war withthe Brits. How French can you get?" But at times it feels more cynicalitself, with just enough tits and Tommy guns to help sell a few moretickets – director Jean-Paul Salomé even makes sure that one girl isgiven a gratuitous full frontal nude suicide scene. When a finalcaption informing us that 'this film is dedicated to the women whofought against Nazi barbarity' comes up you almost expect the words'and got their tits out doing it' to appear. Not too many pluses – theaction scenes aren't very convincing, though a scene on the Metroalmost works despite its unlikeliness – but at least Maya Sansa makesan impression in the film's most underwritten role. The DVD includesDeborah Francois' semi-improvised audition scene that hints at a moreinteresting film that could have been made if co-writer-director Saloméhad been more interested in exploring the characters, but the film heended up making is at best overlong hokum.

    8. three-m from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
      30 Mar 2012, 10:14 pm

      Films abound regarding arguably the greatest tragedy of mankind–WorldWar II–and so many focus on the heroic sacrifices of men. What makes"Les Femmes de L'ombre" shine is that it features the typically unsungcontributors to the war effort–the heroines who shared the sameaudacity and love of country and liberty as the men.

      Aside from its cast of four gorgeous French women (and an equallydelightful Italian), it features a simple, but clever agenda–theactions of a cell of saboteurs and assassins working for the BritishSpecial Operations Executive (SOE) in occupied France. There are nofantastic stories here–no plots to kill Hitler or to sabotage atomicresearch. Instead, the story narrows its focus to the extraordinaryefforts to keep secret the particulars of the inevitable invasion ofthe European continent by the Allies. This is no small order, and thereis much suffering in keeping what must remain secret.

      The emotions in the film are well played by the actors and actresses.During the few brutal, but necessary scenes, the cries of anguish andpain are real and powerfully emotive. Louise (Sophie Marceau) isconvincing as a vengeful widow who works alongside her dedicatedbrother, Pierre (Julien Boisselier). Jeanne (Julie Depardieu, daughterof the famous French actor Gerard Depardieu) plays a callous whoremotivated at first by remission of her prison sentence, then by money,then by revenge. Gaëlle (Déborah François) portrays the naïve,religious girl who is seemingly the only true French patriot of thegroup. Maria (Maya Sansa) is a driven, Italian Jew whose family met itsfate in a concentration camp. The most reluctant member is the lovelySuzy (Marie Gillain), whose questionable past allied her with the mostunlikely of characters, Colonel Heindrich (Moritz Bleibtreu) of theWehrmacht and the film's major antagonist. Unexpected support comesfrom local profiteer, Eddy (Vincent Rottiers), whose connection toColonel Heindrich enables the saboteurs to get close to him to fulfilltheir mission.

      If there's a noticeable weakness to the film, it is Bleibtreu cast as aNazi colonel. He's neither evil nor intimidating. He lacks the sinisterpersona of Colonel Landa (Christoph Waltz) of "Inglourious Basterds," adecidedly less serious film of the genre. Where Colonel Heindrichshould have been clever and cruel, his performance instead is woodenand uninspiring. Bleibtreu may be a little out of his realm in a roleso serious.

      Les Femmes de L'ombre is a solid contribution to the WWII films of thelast decade. I hope it inspires more stories of the Resistance to betold with attention to the incredible sacrifices and dedication ofnormal people confronted with the horrors of Nazism.

    9. bob_hamer2004 from United Kingdom
      30 Mar 2012, 10:14 pm

      This is the story of four girls recruited in the latter part of WWII,who are dropped into occupied France, and reek havok to rescue acaptured British spy, caught in France posing as a geologist. It isoften bloody and gritty, but totally convincing, and never boring. Iread a previous comment that described it as a "Made for TV movie".Well all i can say is, they certainly don't make war movies with fullfrontal nudity and torture scenes, and show them on my TV. The factthat this is the story of women doing what we would generally haveexpected only men did during the war, is what what I found sointeresting. I'll never chain my wife to the cooker again. Anexcellent, entertaining, well made film. The acting is totallyconvincing, particularly Sophie Marceau, who plays the lead role.7.5/10

    10. intelearts from the big screen
      30 Mar 2012, 10:14 pm

      Female Agents is one of the very few war films that concentrates onwomen as soldiers rather than wives waiting for returning men.

      Based around the SOE operations towards the end of WWII this is a verywell-made and well thought out offering.

      Very well shot and lit, with good detailing in both set and costume,this is really a character piece as well as an action film; SofieMarceau shines as the level-headed leader determined to carry out hermission and the rest of the cast are up to her standard.

      It doesn't have a Hallmark moment in it, but chooses bleakness and someharrowing (But not horrific) scenes that mean it remains a good tensewar film.

      Recommended.

    Leave a Reply

    CAPTCHA : *