Prob my second fav Bunuel, which is uncharacteristic in its lack of surrealism on display here. Moreau and Piccoli play off each other well. Idk what it is, maybe it is the non-Bunuel feel to the film that makes it feel so unique and cool in his canon. Worth a viewing. 4.5 stars
This was my first Bunuel. I thought I will get flashed but I wasnt. The story is incomplete in my eyes. There are a lot of motifs (the different types of slimy men, the death of the child, the maid with ?? secret agenda), the frigid, antisemitism, nationalism, rich vs poor) but none of them really followed or deepened. In the end you are like - ok, what was all this about?
I have to admit (once again) that I'm certain that I would've never seen some movies were it not for MUBI: this is one of them. I know the term 'realism' can be overused, but here I think it applies, even with the surrealist hints of Bunuel's earlier work surfacing here and there. No character--except the child--is morally unscathed by the end of the film. The languid, earthy countryside becomes Celestine's prison.
Deeming this "a droll vision of Eden during the Fall, human privilege battling for its own existence," film critic Michael Akinson affirms that "DoaC pivots on Buñuel’s favorite subject: men twisted inside like rope by the tensions of their own absurd desires and by their preposterous presumption that they’re worthy of their own obscure objects." Great casting.
Under the surface of what could be a bourgeois soap opera is a social morass that includes rape, murder, sexual fetishism and racial hatred. Amid all of this is the almost casual rise of an intense fascistic nationalism. All too familiar. There is no justice and no one, including our tour guide, Celestine, possesses the agency to avert disaster. I loved the final cut of a mob vanishing in the distance.