Sage femme

July 25th, 2017


Sage femme

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Release Year: 2017

Rating: 7.1/10 ( voted)

Critic's Score: /100

Director: Martin Provost

Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Frot, Olivier Gourmet

Claire is a midwife in a maternity hospital. She is humane and helpful and gives herself entirely to her patients. But her life is not a bed of roses for all that. Her maternity is about to close its doors and the devoted woman is determined not to work in the new modern hospital she regards as a "baby factory". Her personal life is no triumph either: she is single and does not make friends easily. To make matters worse, her student son Simon is gradually leaving home, as he is developing a relationship with his new sweetheart Lucie. It is the moment that chooses Béatrice, her dead father's former mistress, to resurface. The eccentric, spendthrift, sensual, amoral woman (her exact opposite in fact) is really the last kind of person she needs to mix with. But Béatrice soon informs her that the suffers from brain cancer and she has nobody else to turn to. Torn between rejection and duty, what is Claire going to do ?

Writers: Martin Provost, Martin Provost, Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Frot, Olivier Gourmet, Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Frot, Olivier Gourmet, Quentin Dolmaire, Mylène Demongeot, Pauline Etienne, Pauline Parigot, Marie Gili-Pierre, Audrey Dana, Jeanne Rosa, Élise Oppong, Ingrid Heiderscheidt, Jacques Mechelany, Ana Rodriguez, Karidja Touré, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Catherine Deneuve - Béatrice Sobo dite Sobolevski
Catherine Frot - Claire Breton
Olivier Gourmet - Paul Baron
Quentin Dolmaire - Simon
Mylène Demongeot - Rolande
Pauline Etienne - Cécile Amado - une patiente
Pauline Parigot - Lucie
Marie Gili-Pierre - Evelyne
Audrey Dana - La chef de service hôpital moderne
Jeanne Rosa - Élodie
Élise Oppong - Sophie
Ingrid Heiderscheidt - L'hôtesse d'accueil de la maternité
Jacques Mechelany - Francis
Ana Rodriguez - Patiente du bébé au cordon enroulé
Karidja Touré - Madame Naja - une patiente


Official Website: Official site [Germany] | Official site [UK]

Country: France

Language: French

Release Date: 3 Jan 2017

Filming Locations: Paris, France

Box Office Details

Budget: €7,000,000 (estimated)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Although the action is set in the Paris region, the birthing scenes were filmed in Belgium as French law prohibits such practices. See more »

User Review


Rating: 9/10

I really enjoyed this movie; in part as it starred my favorite actress from 2016: Catherine Frot, and her exquisite performance as 'Marguerite'. Frot has such stillness and poise on screen, but can also command great presence with minimal effort. Here, as the titular 'Midwife, Catherine Frot is delivered a role that gives her a chance to really shine. From the opening scenes her 'Claire' is a good woman; a skilled professional but lacking a personal life or much hope it seems. Blessed with a son she only sees fleetingly, her life is turned upside down when Beatrice played by Catherine Deneuve re-enters her radius after vanishing more than 3 decades before and causing Claire's father (one time lover of Beatrice) irreparable damage and an indelible imprint for young Claire. It is a fascinating dance that these two characters create through their often awkward scenes together.

The film is only a success because of the chemistry between these two marvellous actresses. The narrative ambles all over the place, messily edited and at times a little predictable, but seeing these two share the screen is pure magic, and compensates for where the film is otherwise lacking. Beneath the choppy script lies some rich fabric about life and death; life changes and the power of forgiveness and redemption: always soulful pursuits for the big screen. I wanted this to be perfection; of course it is not. Catherine Deneuve deserves an Oscar nomination for this; she is unafraid to show her age; her flaws and creates a memorable screen character, a former good time gal, whose life is slipping away from her, as she clings to the joie devivre that had sustained her. It is a privilege to watch a screen icon; still beautiful, but displaying how beauty can fade. There is much dignity here from both Catherine the Greats!


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