“Belle de Jour” Means Daytime Beauty

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Luis Bunuel‘s Belle de Jour (1967) is so bad it’s riveting.

A French woman (Catherine Deneuve) happily married but sexually unresponsive to her husband gradually becomes, of all things, a daytime prostitute at a brothel.  Repelling kinkiness is shown, but there is also Bunuel’s usual surrealism which, at the end, causes the film to scurry away from, well, real life.  From human catastrophe.

In Belle, at bottom, Senor B. likes neither people nor traditional Western morality (it’s so bourgeois).  Practically the only good thing about the film is Catherine Deneuve’s marvelous beauty.  I’m glad her character is a daytime beauty, a belle de jour, since she’s so easy to see that way.

(In French with English subtitles)

 

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