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From The Distrib Films Collection
How to be a Good Wife

A film by Martin Provost
Starring Juliette Binoche

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Maintaining a household and stoically submitting to conjugal duty are the skills Paulette Van Der Beck (Juliette Binoche) teaches with fervor in her homemakers institute. Her certainties are shaken when she finds herself widowed and ruined. Is she rattled by the return of her first love or the wind of freedom in May ’68? What if the good wife finally became a free woman?

“Martin Provost’s rollicking dramedy may not be for anyone seeking a lesson on French history or feminism, but boy, is it a good time. Binoche is superbly entertaining as she first trills and shrills on the ways of proper womanhood, and then starts to relish the taste of new freedoms.” —Devika Girish, The New York Times

“Though it's miles from the French New Wave provocations of the era, this breezy satire sows the seeds of rebellion through escalating farce, a winning comedic ensemble, and a dash of queer longing.” —ABC News (Australia)

“It's easy to smile and internally cheer along with How to Be a Good Wife (and to revel in its period costuming and decor, too).” —Concrete Playground

“Very entertaining. A marvelous farce. Just what the 2020 silly season needs. Binoche is wonderful... It's easy to forget she's a wonderful comedian and her work here is a triumph.” —The Canberra Times

“Binoche is irresistible. A wonderful, very well-made, good humoured portrayal of the road travelled over the past fifty or so years towards female emancipation, and of the fact that individual freedom is always essential to "finding one’s place in the world.” —Cineuropa

“A charmer. Provost’s Christmas cracker is a retro-sweet send off to a hellacious year, with silver linings all round and a blazing feminist anthem to ignite its grand finale.” —Nobody's Reading This But Me

“Sparkling and intelligent - a great success.” —Telerama

“Binoche is brilliant. Colourful, happy, romantic and surprisingly modern, Provost's film skilfully explores all the social upheavals of the time, touching on the birth of feminism, the acceptance of certain customs and above all, the essential awareness that has emancipated women.” —Elle

“This excellent comedy, sharp and funny, reminds us that, for women, it was hardly better before. We have come a long way ... and we will do more.” —Femme Actuelle

“Very successful. Binoche is amazing.” —Marie Claire

“Martin Provost’s comedy of women’s liberation is a warmhearted look at social turbulence.” —The Spool

Alliance Francaise French Film Festival 2020

110 minutes / Color
French / English subtitles
Release: 2023
Copyright: 2020

For individual consumers (home video)

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This DVD is sold with a license for institutional use and Public Performance rights.

Subject areas:
Distrib Films Collection, France

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