The Stepford Wives
(The Stepford Wives)
Joanna Eberhard is a woman whoom everything is a success. The youngest EBS channel's president of the history, she possesses a loving husband, two beautiful children, a perfect life. But one day, the dream collapses. Joanna loses her job and discovers soon that her marriage she thought was solid, was sinking ; she loses memory and senses of orientation, she falls down. Nothing better than a good depression to take another start. Joanna and her husband, Walter, leave New York and move the residential suburbs of Stepford, Connecticut.
Stepford seems to come out of a fairy tale, with its vast and nice bourgeois houses, its manicured lawns, its quiet streets of an immaculate cleanness and especially, its women, unreal beauty, with their smooth faces, eternally cheerful, their measurements deserving magazine on high quality papers. What's their secret ?
Joanna is surprised to see that they all are their doyenne and idol image, Claire Wellington, as endowed for coocking and pastring as to repaint the house, to mower, to play with the children and, when the evening is coming, to welcome their husband in high sexy lingeries. Increasingly schemed, Joanna and her new friend, the effervescent Bobbie Markowitz, recently arrived, begin to question themselves. The architect Roger Bannister also, who was hoping to save its turbulent relationship with the conservative attorney Jerry, and sees ostracized by the male population of Stepford. His way, Walter is the happiest man because he soon found his place within the Men Association of
Stepford, proud erected fortress where hold the evening strange and very confidential meetings. « This city, this house, it is a dream », he says. « What a beautiful life ! ». Yes, until Joanna is inquiring…
Ira Levin, the novelist for « Rosemary's Baby » and « The Boys from Brazil » writes in 1972, at the top of the first American feminist wave, the bestseller « The Stepford Wives ». After a first adaptation for cinema in 1975 by Bryan Forbes, the producer Frank Oz resuscitates the female robots of the small city in the Connecticut (imaginary city that only exists, dear readers, only in Levin's imagination) almost thirty later years.
The direction of THE STEPFORD WIVES, Tim Burton was sensed for a long time to direct, returned finally to Frank Oz. By transforming the anguishing novel into a contemporary comedy, the producer creates a surprising blends of comic and blackness. With a sometimes telephoned humor, this comedy transcribes a satire of the American carrierism and the obsession to appear in search of perfection. At the risk to disappoint the aficionados of the gender, by detaching it from the science-fiction part of the oeuver relegated to the second plan, Oz confirms his will to place human relationships at the center of a film with multiple contemporary themes and benefitting from a prestigious casting.