Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Even if some of the references are inscrutable, a lot of 8 Women is a riot.
Detroit Free Press:
For French film fans, this is the equivalent of Bob Dylan, the surviving Beatles and the Rolling Stones jamming in the studio with an adoring producer behind the glass.
An ebullient toast to grande dames: part homage, part camp, all artifice and a thoroughly entertaining, if light, confection.
Los Angeles Times:
Although it starts off vaguely amusing, 8 Women grows progressively sour, curdled by the filmmakers' bad faith and lack of compassion.
For pure camp, intentional or otherwise, this is right up there with The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
8 Women may not plumb the depths of the female psyche, but it's stylish and frivolous in the most profound ways.
It's a big puffy French pastry of a movie: light, airy, silly, not especially memorable, but delicious while it lasts.
Seduction is more important than deduction in this chic display of star quality to the eighth power.
Visually, it adores the women it introduces. Emotionally and intellectually, it mocks them.
New York Post:
Inept, tedious kitsch that even at its best feels like John Waters minus the joie de vivre.
New York Observer:
Simply to name the eight actresses ... is to indulge in an iconic incantation that has less to do with traditional film criticism than with spiritual speculation on the eloquent intimations of immortality in the ageless cinema of faces.
A note of genuine sadness sneaks through at the end, but for the most part, enjoying 8 Women involves coming to terms with its artificiality and learning to appreciate it from a distance. Behind all that thick glass, it's still a work of art.
J. R. Jones,
The French screen royalty assembled by Ozon and the film's sheer exuberance in its own artifice make this a delight from beginning to end.
The acting is such a delight, with each actress nailing her respective personality type with appropriate flair and finesse, that it breathes with life.
A delectable, frothy, often over-the-top 1950s murder mystery by director Francois Ozon.
The sum of the movie's parts amounts to a starstruck director entertaining himself more than he entertains us.
Who did it is less important to Ozon than a lampooning of the Sirkian aesthetic of pure artifice, but there's too much irony in the air for him to spin anything but the most brittle of confections.
Ozon plainly worships the idea of the grand dame, and the movie allows him both to honor and deride his own devotion.
New York Times:
Indefensible, cynical, even grotesque; it is also pure -- that is to say innocent and uncorrupted -- fun.
Offers as much delicious enjoyment to the viewer as it obviously did to the cast and crew when they were assembling it.
Whatever you call this one-of-a-kind bonbon spiked with wit and malice, it's classic oo-la-la.
Under the pretense of casting a spell of wonder, mystery, joy and despair, all Ozon has really done is set up a dry, lifeless environment in which ironic detachment -- the arch-enemy of all great art -- can flourish like a stingy cactus.
San Francisco Chronicle:
A movie that is so original, so funny, so alive with drama, intrigue, mystery and colors that you want to see it again and again.
Globe and Mail:
Its silly, mannered contrivances nonetheless cast a nostalgic spell, and you find yourself drawn helplessly into the loopy, nonsensical story with strangely fretful anticipation.
It's quite the fun group to be stranded with -- unless you happen to be male, rich and in the way.
This is a style of camp so broad that even the most bovine straight can get it.
Ozon's notion of derision is perfectly carried out by his multi-generational name cast.
For all the tumultuous entrances and flouncing exits, the eight principals manage maybe three laughs among them.
Yes, it's over the top, giddy and parodistic (God bless it). But it also takes a thoughtful, if surreptitious, look at what eight women might act like when men aren't around.
A gorgeous, if disjointed, spectacle, made endurable -- if not entirely comprehensible -- by its eye-popping cast.
The New Republic:
It is our awareness that five of the brightest French stars have come together to have fun that makes the picture bubble.