I had a hell of a time finding this version. Everyone seems to prefer the Renoir version. Bah! Renoir turned it into a romance. Jacquot turned it into a melodrama. Only Bunuel could go this dark. Moreau is perfect. In this one the subtext becomes very important. Your expectations are thwarted. It's the dark humor and fearlessness that I love about his work with J.C. Carriere.
An enthusiastic two star review. A cutting look at bourgeois 'culture' through the lens of a woman navigating a terse, tight web of intrigue. It's political elements make this extremely relevant to our situation today. Some beautiful shots/camera work and excellent performances make this one to see.
In many regards, a direct and uncomplicated film. Buñuel knew what he wanted to say, and it shows. And yet, it's ambiguous by choice, and this is its greatest strength. Moreau's performance is great as the complex chambermaid. The script foreshadows many details, and they pay off nicely. The critical look at society, from all angles is expertly accomplished. Probably one of my favorites by him.
While superficially one of Buñuel's most lucid and orderly works, Diary Of A Chambermaid is regardlessly one of his most beguiling, inexplicable, and unsettling pictures, containing some of his most indelible and erotically-charged imagery––the snails slithering over Claire's corpse; Jeanne Moreau's lovely legs, footwear, and maid's uniform––amidst a tapestry of pastoral repression.
There are very few films that I have ever seen that have such a strong subtext of sensuality as to inspire genuine arousal, and very few still that are as perfectly executed, as this gem of a masterpiece. As Criterion so perfectly states, it's "classic Buñuel".