Catherine Deneuve’s porcelain perfection hides a cracked interior in one of the actress’s most iconic roles: Séverine, a Paris housewife who begins secretly spending her afternoon hours working in a bordello. This surreal and erotic late-sixties daydream from provocateur for the ages Luis Buñuel is an examination of desire and fetishistic pleasure (its characters’ and its viewers’), as well as a gently absurdist take on contemporary social mores and class divisions. Fantasy and reality commingle in this burst of cinematic transgression, which was one of Buñuel’s biggest hits.
In the typical French film style, there was no conclusion, no clear ending. Fine with me...leaves one to imagine.
Classsic !!! I still love you Melisa lets watch this again in the dark with candles and make love>> 420
A classic by any standards with an absolutely gorgeous Catherine Deneuve at her best. Great surrealistic double ending is another stroke of genius by Bunuel and his brilliant partner Jean Claude Carriere. Strongly recommended!
What a strange and haunting film! I won't soon forget it. What a vast difference from the role three years before which brought Catherine Deneuve to fame- As "Genevieve" in Umbrellas of Cherbourg. The DVD includes a booklet with an interview with Luis Buñuel (the director), which I throughly enjoyed reading after watching the film.
"Belle de Jour" is generally considered to be director Luis Bunuel's masterpiece; a surprisingly revealing and seemingly personal venture into the world of eroticism and its deviance s. It's a truly surrealistic exercise in ambiguity, fantasy, and reality. The line that separates them is blurred so much that the famously mysterious ending has had critics arguing for decades over its meaning.
You know, had this dreary "whore-by-day-good-little-wife-by-night" story (from 1967) been directed by an American film-maker, instead of a foreigner, then, to be sure, its puzzling reputation of being lauded as a cinematic "masterpiece" wouldn't have endured, as it has, for 50 years now. No. It wouldn't.
Believe me - Belle de Jour's story about a frigid, empty-headed woman's walk-on-the-wild-side certainly had some promising potential - But, when put into the incompetent hands of that over-rated, hack-director, Luis Bunuel - It was the driest, most antiseptic look at modern-day whoredom that you could ever imagine possible.
And, speaking about the gorgeous, 24-year-old actress, Catherine Deneuve as the Severine/Belle de Jour character - (Me-oh-my!) - If only this vacuous beauty could have acted even half a good as she looked, then, yes, this agonizingly dismal picture might have actually been elevated into something worth tolerating.
An unimpeachable masterpiece of sex, desire, fantasy, and perversion. Spanish-born Luis Bunuel was nothing less than the most important surrealist director of the 20th century and while he's made a lot of great movies earlier in his career, including the classic "Un Chien Andalou" (this is the slicing up eyeballs one), his late run of films, mostly made in France, is remarkable. Catherine Deneuve's icy beauty is perfect for the role of a bored housewife who goes to work in a brothel, while also having kinky fantasies. Bunuel's brilliance is in fusing fantasy and reality in a way that is seamless. The Blu Ray looks stunning and has the usual Criterion extras, including an old interview with Denueve and an analysis by two feminist critics. A milestone of 60's Euro art cinema.
Catherine Deneuve is at her most coolly enigmatic and stunningly beautiful as Severine, a sexually repressed young housewife who finds fulfillment and release working in the afternoons as a prostitute. When by chance a worldly, cynical friend of her husband's discovers her secret, her world threatens to come apart.
Surrealist director Bunuel presents this elegant film in such a way that Severine's experiences (interspersed with charged erotic daydreams) could be factual, could be fantasy, or a strange mixture of both.
This first Bunuel film in color was made in the middle of Deneuve’s “ice maiden” period, where she portrays cold, yet erotic maidens. Bunuel allows us to be fooled a few times when dream sequences are perceived by the audience to be real. By the end of the film, we kinda’ catch on to his little games with our perception and we just might figure out what is real and what most likely is a dream. This film won the Venice Golden Lion award as best film of the year.
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