Potiche is often called a camp, over-acted film set in the seventies and has a whiff of Douglas Sirk's melodramas, etc, and I have to accept these criticisms as they are true. But, as most reviews of the film (professional or amateur) say – that is one of its delights, and perhaps its major strength.
We have something of a starry cast with an ageing and apparently devoted Suzanne Pujol (Catherine Deneuve) as wife of Robert Pujol (Fabrice Luchini), who is her husband and the head of the Pujol-Michonneau umbrella factory, which of course reminds us of Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, Jacques Demy's celebrated camp film starring Deneuve. Suzanne's dead father is the Michonneau in the title of the firm, and the ageing Pujol is messing around with who he can, but particularly his secretary Nadège (Karin Viard).
But then there comes a strike, and the greedy Maurice's heart can't take it. He can survive, but Suzanne is forced to take over, but then she has a way of dealing with people that is far superior to Maurice's. This is women taking the upper role in the 1970s, and she goes on to achieve great things, with Ozon developing from Pierre Barillet and Jean-Pierre Gredy's play of the same name, although in English I'd prefer 'Figurehead' to 'Trophy Wife'.
Maurice Babin (Gerard Depardieu) – the communist mayor who's long ago had a one-off fling with Suzanne – doesn't make it to a second helping, although Suzanne makes mincemeat of both him and her husband to become a député MP: this woman is definitely on top.