The Women on the 6th Floor

The Women on the 6th Floor

Film poster
Directed by Philippe Le Guay
Produced by Etienne Comar
Philippe Rousselet
Written by Philippe Le Guay
Jérôme Tonnerre
Starring Fabrice Luchini
Sandrine Kiberlain
Natalia Verbeke
Carmen Maura
Music by Jorge Arriagada
Cinematography Jean-Claude Larrieu
Edited by Monica Coleman
Distributed by SND Films
Release dates
  • 23 October 2010 (2010-10-23) (Première)
  • 16 February 2011 (2011-02-16) (France)
Running time
106 minutes
Country France
Language French
Budget $6.2 million
Box office $39.9 million[1]

The Women on the 6th Floor (French: Les Femmes du 6ème étage; also known as Service Entrance) is a 2010 French film directed by Philippe Le Guay.[2][3][4] It was written by Le Guay and Jérôme Tonnerre.

The film premièred at the Montpellier International Festival of Mediterranean Film on 23 October 2010. Its cinematic run in France began on 16 February 2011. First shown in the USA in March 2011 at Rendezvous with French Cinema, it began its release on 7 October 2011.


Set in Paris in the 1960s, the film is a social comedy that pits the propriety of a well-to-do French family with the earthiness and humour of Spanish cleaning ladies who work in their apartment building.[5] It follows Monsieur Joubert (Fabrice Luchini), an unadventurous stockbroker, as he befriends the Spanish maids who live on the top floor of his building. Maria (Natalia Verbeke), his new maid, introduces him to her compatriots and their simple but happy lives animated by friendship and folklore, in contrast to the relative emotional austerity of his own life. Slowly he recovers his joie de vivre by tasting life's simple pleasures; when his wife (Sandrine Kiberlain) falsely accuses him of having an affair he moves into an empty room in the servants' quarters upstairs, the first time he has had a bedroom of his own.


  • Fabrice Luchini as Jean-Louis Joubert
  • Sandrine Kiberlain as Suzanne Joubert
  • Natalia Verbeke as María Gonzalez
  • Carmen Maura as Concepción Ramirez
  • Lola Dueñas as Carmen
  • Berta Ojea as Dolores Carbalan
  • Nuria Solé as Teresa
  • Concha Galán as Pilar
  • Audrey Fleurot as Bettina de Brossolette
  • Marie-Armelle Deguy as Colette de Bergeret
  • Muriel Solvay as Nicole de Grandcourt
  • Philippe Duquesne as Gérard
  • Annie Mercier as Madame Triboulet
  • Michèle Gleizer as Germaine Bronech
  • Camille Gigot as Bertrand Joubert
  • Jean-Charles Deval as Olivier Joubert
  • Christine Vézinet as Valentine
  • Jeupeu as Boulard
  • Vincent Nemeth as Monsieur Armand
  • Philippe du Janerand as Piquer
  • Patrick Bonnel as Golmard
  • Laurent Claret as Blamond
  • Jean-Claude Jay as Pelletier
  • Joan Massotkleiner as Fernando
  • Ivan Martin Salan as Miguel


Two of the Spanish actresses, Berta Ojea and Concha Galán, did not speak French before the film and learned their roles phonetically.[6]

Release and reception

The film was screened out of competition at the Berlinale in 2011.[7] It was well received by critics and audiences. Le Monde wrote "The entertainment is as good as the actors are pitch-perfect. Fabrice Luchini and Sandrine Kiberlain are among our best stars."[3] Dissenting, La Croix described the "lazy screenplay, poor dialogue, catalogue of clichés, indigent mise en scène".[8] The New York Press reviewed the film at the Rendez-vous with French Film festival in New York, calling it "charming".[9]


The movie was nominated in three categories at the César Award 2012 : Best costume design, Best production design and Best supporting actress. It won the Best supporting actress César - Carmen Maura.[10]


The original soundtrack to Les Femmes du 6e étage is included on the CD compilation Les Musiques de Jorge Arriagada pour les films de Philippe Le Guay, released by Canadian label Disques Cinémusique in 2013. French and English liner notes. More information here.


  2. Page on Retrieved 24 March 2011 (French)
  3. 1 2 "Les Femmes du 6e étage" : inconfort matériel et chaleur humaine des chambres de bonne Le Monde, 15 February 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2011. (French)
  4. Smith, Ian Hayden (2012). International Film Guide 2012. p. 120. ISBN 978-1908215017.
  5. Van Hoej, Brad The Women on the Sixth Floor -Les Femmes du 6e etage Variety, 15 February 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
  6. Shooting secrets on Retrieved 26 March 2011 (French)
  7. Berlinale programme Berlinale film festival website. Retrieved 26 March 2011
  8. « Les femmes du 6e étage » : le patron coincé et les rudes Ibères La Croix,15 February 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2011. (French)
  9. Rendez-Vous: ‘Service Entrance’ Will Leave You Charmed by the Help New York Press staff blogs, 8 March 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2011.
  10. 37th César Awards, 37th César Awards
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