The Women on the 6th Floor
Sometimes released as Service Entrance, this breezy upstairs/downstairs comedy has been a hit both at home and abroad. It's 1962. An uptight middle-class couple â€“ Fabrice Luchini and Sandrine Kiberlain â€“ are barely aware that the servants' quarters on an upper floor of their Paris apartment building are overflowing with refugees from Franco's Spain: the sisters and aunts and mothers and cousins of the legal occupant (Carmen Maura). After they hire one of them, the beautiful, mysterious, quietly challenging Maria, to be their housemaid, they are gradually made aware of their own unintentional insensitivity and are drawn out of their tired routines. Kiberlain's touching remoteness from the infectious gusto of the tenants brings a little edge to the film's comic fantasy, while Luchini has a ball as the stuffy fusspot rescued from himself by the chance to play godfather to a houseful of hot-blooded Spanish country girls.
Starring: Fabrice Luchini, Sandrine Kiberlain, Natalia Verbeke, Carmen Maura, Lola Duenas, Berta Ojea, Nuria Sole, Concha Galan