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5,811 Ratings

Belle de jour

Directed by Luis Buñuel
France, Italy, 1967
Fantasy, Drama


A frigid, beautiful housewife in Paris with a kinky, sadomasochistic imagination starts an afternoon job as a prostitute in a local brothel while her husband is away at work.

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Belle de jour Directed by Luis Buñuel
The endless appeal of Belle du jour, I won't be the first to say, is its insistence on the fantasy and the reality; one doesn't replace or resolve the other, just as cobbling together an origin story to explain our most singular obsessions cannot exorcise them. As Buñuel knew, a shoe is a shoe is a shoe—unless it's so much more.
May 13, 2015
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I believe J. Hoberman has called this "a perfect film" and he is indeed correct. Not only is there nothing wrong with it, there's everything right with it. So much is going on, and yet all of it seems effortless, comfortable in mastery and drollery. The choppiness of the cuts in the opening "dream" sequence is bracing (and reminiscent of the dedication ceremony scene in L'age d'or somehow) but also weirdly sets the film's fluidity of tone.
January 10, 2015
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Belle de Jour, Luis Buñuel’s coolly outrageous masterpiece (and greatest commercial success), features Catherine Deneuve as a haute bourgeois matron who spends her afternoons working at a respectable, but hardly deluxe, brothel. As flawless as its star, the movie is founded on the great surrealist’s genius for free-associative chitchat and orchestrated Freudian slips, right down to its teasingly open ending.
February 27, 2018
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