Hired as a nanny in a chic Parisian district to try to reimburse creditors who do not hear laughing, a young Ivorian undertakes to improve the working conditions of her colleagues, with the help of a lawyer sensitive to her charms.
It begins with the shot of a beautiful blue sky overlooking Paris and the camera then descends quietly under the viaduct of the ring road, where Angèle has settled down with her junk. A great specialist in spiel, this sharp-tongued Ivorian immediately stands out as a friendly scammer who can trick anyone into her trap.
Julien Rambaldi (The best friends in the world, C’est la vie) first uses the tone of comedy to tell the story of this extraordinary woman. The latter is forced to accept a job as a nanny with a bourgeois family in order to fade away a little from those to whom she owes money. In the same breath, this amazon with a fiery temperament discovers a world she knew little about. She also finds herself in an environment where babysitters, often from elsewhere and without papers, are shamelessly exploited by people who, sometimes, are not even aware of the abusive power they wield.
Interweaving elements of romantic comedy into his story, the filmmaker has the ambition here to deal with social themes – linked in particular to immigration – by taking a lighter form. As such, his feature film is successful, insofar as it entertains and moves us by highlighting the essential role of these usually invisible women. Its approach doesn’t always avoid clichés and the narrative has its share of more Manichean elements, but Women in the Square doesn’t steal its status as a “comfort film”.
It should also be said how much this success is due to the presence of Eye Haïdara in the skin of Angèle. Seen in particular in Le sens de la fête (Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache), the actress holds her first major role in the cinema here and delivers a performance that is as much a tornado as a fireworks display. She is wonderful there.