More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 0%
Average: 7.69%
Pretty Bad: 15.38%
Total Crap: 7.69%

1 review, 7 user ratings

Latest Reviews

Blithe Spirit (2021) by Jay Seaver

My Zoe by Jay Seaver

Nomadland by Rob Gonsalves

Stylist, The by Peter Sobczynski

Hidden Man by Jay Seaver

Writer's Odyssey, A by Jay Seaver

Endgame (2021) by Jay Seaver

Tom and Jerry by Peter Sobczynski

Stylist, The by Rob Gonsalves

Rumble Fish by Jack Sommersby

subscribe to this feed

Belle De Jour
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Rob Gonsalves

"Classic erotic satire."
5 stars

Luis Buñuel's sly comedy-fantasia is nowhere near as explicit as the later, similarly themed '9 1/2 Weeks' yet goes so far beyond it that the comparison is humilating.

The virginal, dissatisfied heroine Severine (Catherine Deneuve) won't let her very patient husband (Jean Sorel) touch her, but she has constant, vivid daydreams of her own violation. The premise is an irreverent twist on Repulsion, in which Deneuve, a virgin molested as a girl (or something), had terrifying nightmares and was driven to murder. Here, she's driven to prostitution.

Her friendly but no-nonsense madam (Genevieve Page) insists that Severine learn how to satisfy the desires of the weirder clients. After rejecting a violent gangster (Pierre Clementi) and confronting an acquaintance (Michel Piccoli) at the brothel, Severine decides she has indulged enough and returns to her husband.

The movie will drive literalists mad, and given the PC mood of the '90s, Martin Scorsese was brave (or perhaps perverse) to dust it off for a 1995 revival. But Buñuel clarifies the difference between fantasy and reality in much the same way that Brian De Palma would do in Dressed to Kill: The fantasy is mildly ridiculous but titillating; the fantasy made reality is tedious, degrading, and possibly dangerous. Prostitution "awakens" nothing except, perhaps, the desire for a manageable, bourgeois sex life.

The young Deneuve, her beauty a blank screen for willful directors to project their dark jokes onto, is perfectly cast. Cinematography by the great Sacha Vierny.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 04/05/07 11:37:29
[printer] printer-friendly format  
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 San Francisco Film Festival For more in the 2006 San Francisco Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/01/15 stanley welles nothing more than an unconvincing sex melodrama 2 stars
3/18/09 Josie Cotton is a goddess A masterpiece! 5 stars
4/22/06 margotkidding A classic. Although Deneuve's beauty serves almost as a distraction. 5 stars
2/21/05 Dhawal Korani I saw this as a teenager. It disgusted me. What "humour" is Bunuel trying to portray? 1 stars
2/11/03 Charles Tatum A rather slow disappointment 3 stars
5/01/01 Elka Sinha one of the most sensitivly handled films on female sexuality 5 stars
Note: Duplicate, 'planted,' or other obviously improper comments
will be deleted at our discretion. So don't bother posting 'em. Thanks!
Your Name:
Your Comments:
Your Location: (state/province/country)
Your Rating:

Discuss this movie in our forum

  17-Jan-1967 (R)
  DVD: 02-Sep-2003


  17-Jan-1967 (R)

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast