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.
Presenting a masterpiece from a real master! Luis Buñuel’s magnificently kinky dark comedy about secret desire was his biggest popular success, and it continues to shock, provoke, and delight audiences to this day. And Mlle. Deneuve in YSL—sly, opaque, gorgeous—is nothing short of iconic. In HD.
The surrealist dichotomy between Séverine's reality and fantasy is quite unclear, but what we can be sure is that Catherine Deneuve is perfect in a classy prostitute role, providing the exact amount of sex-appeal and naivety to portray an uncomfortable housewife trying to expand her curiosity about sex.
More like "Slut de Jour"! Is there anything cooler than a housewife-turned-prostitute dressed in classy outfits? No wonder it was such an iconic role for Deneuve's career. What I love the most about it is the depiction of a transgressive desire we all secretly have but only a few actually embrace. Séverine was a bad girl but damn was she good at it! The dream sequences and childhood flashbacks were nice too!
It's an engaging but slightly overrated Bunuel endeavor. My issue is that it's too simple, at least to me (not trying to brag here). Basically, everything that happens after the initial rape fantasy is about the making of that fantasy, which is also why it returns to it at the end. In short, everything in the middle (especially the sound), is reconfigured in the dream. That's too simple for me especially by Bunuel.
One of Buneul's best! A tremendous fusion of comedy and politics, where reality and fantasy get to become the rocky chimera they always are, and half the fun is guessing what's going on in Mlle. Deneuve's head. An interestingly cheeky view of sex too, namely because it suggests that sexual desire, much like a Bunuel film, isn't meant to be understood so much as enjoyed.
After my lukewarm reaction to The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, I have to say Bunuel really won me over with this one. A fascinating study of upper class sexual perversity and boredom, it's also endlessly entertaining and completely irresistible. Catherine Deneuve's performance suggests boundless layers of hidden complexities- this is absolutely brilliant. Bring on more Bunuel!
Watching it for a second time, it is still powerful, even if the punches or surprises are not there anymore. Deneuve's performance is great, and Bunuel's direction is masterful. In view of his entire oeuvre, it's one of his strongest films, but there are others that are stronger. But still fun and a great introduction to Buñuel.
Catherine Deneuve stars in one of her most iconic roles as an upper class French housewife whose secret sadomasochistic fantasies lead her to become a classy prostitute in the afternoons while her husband is away. Bunuel's surrealistic tendencies may have mellowed somewhat by this point in his career, but the blurring between fantasy and reality is deliciously ambiguous.