De Oliveira's pseudo sequel to the classic Bunuel film ( Belle de Jour) is an interesting take on regrets and nostalgia mixed with a black comedic streak of sadism. Interesting if unfulfilling scripting topped by a wonderful turn by the always reliable Michel Piccoli well supported by several members of the director's later day stock company.
BELLE TOUJOURS is essentially an immensely satisfying apéritif, compact and modest, sure, but containing some seriously magic kind of ethanol or something. Oliveira is a fastidious assembler of formal units, and he has a peerless ability to imbue everyday inanimate objects w/ aura; he brings cinema back to its basic origins as a quasi-occult conjuring. BELLE TOUJOURS feels very much like a seance.
Does old Bulle Ogier resemble more a young Deneuve than aged Deneuve herself? Perhaps she does and that would pass unnoticed (nothing unheard-of to cast different actors in a '30+ years later' role, though Oliveira preserves Piccoli from Belle du Jour's old crew) if this film wasn't also, honoring Buñuel, a diachronic approach to his casting methods. Augier succeeds Deneuve in playing Belle just as Bouquet and Molina