Manon Bresch, Adèle Exarchopoulos, and Mélanie Laurent sit in (and on the hood of) a red convertible. Bresch wears shorts and a button-down, Exarchopoulos wears an Adidas top, and Laurent wears jeans and a green Gucci track top.

The Wingwomen

Mélanie Laurent, Adèle Exarchopoulos, and Manon Bresch play best friends-in-heist in Wingwomen (Voleuses).

25 October 20234 min read

Boyfriends come and go, but friends, especially friends-in-heist, are forever. Mélanie Laurent’s latest feature, Wingwomen (Voleuses), proves that maxim is both true and extremely entertaining. 

Protagonists Carole (Laurent, who also wrote and directed the film) and Alex (Blue Is the Warmest Color’s Adèle Exarchopoulos) are best friends who also happen to be world-class thieves. When they decide to leave behind the life of crime that they’ve built together, the pair recruit race car driver Sam (Manon Bresch) to see through their final job: stealing a painting from an exhibit in Corsica. 

Equal parts action and comedy, Wingwomen creates a genre of its own. The women are strong, sometimes brutish, while also nurturing and a bit goofy. Carole, Alex, and Sam are not restricted to the female action hero archetype audiences have come to recognize onscreen; the script offers its cast a chance to kick ass and have a laugh, often all in one scene. Even the biggest adversary they face — their boss, “The Godmother,” played by five-time César-winning and twice Oscar-nominated Isabelle Adjani — is terrifying in her playfulness. 

Laurent, known for acting roles in Inglourious Basterds and 6 Underground, as well as her filmmaking ventures Galveston and Breathe, helms Wingwomen with a clear vision. The heart of the film lies in its characters and the beauty of their female friendships. And while Wingwomen’s action keeps adrenaline pumping throughout, the more prevalent feeling that it inspires is joy — of friends laughing at inside jokes years-in-the-making, of women embracing one another with affection, of having someone with whom to celebrate the triumphs, whether that’s breaking free from a toxic lover or breaking into an art gallery.