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4,076 Ratings

That Obscure Object of Desire

Cet obscur objet du désir

Directed by Luis Buñuel
France, Spain, 1977
Fantasy, Romance


En route from Seville to Paris, an aging homme d’affaires (Fernando Rey) recounts his ruinous fascination with a Spanish dancer, played—in the director’s coup—by two actresses, Carole Bouquet (sullen) and Ángela Molina (sultry), who embody the dual nature of a (literally) two-faced woman.

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That Obscure Object of Desire Directed by Luis Buñuel

Awards & Festivals

Academy Awards

1978 | 2 nominations including: Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium

National Board of Review

1977 | 3 wins including: Best Director

César Awards

1978 | 2 nominations including: Best Director

A French and Spanish co-production, That Obscure Object of Desire is of two minds, straddling the discrete worlds of man and woman, past and present, bourgeois and bohemian, domestic and urban… Set against the backdrop of a terrorist insurgency, That Obscure Object of Desire portrays sexual desire as a literal battleground, where the stakes are high and the opposition is a shapeshifter.
March 29, 2017
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That Obscure Object of Desire is surreal insofar as it depicts an extreme that is horrifically logical: the inability to express one’s true emotions. The film presents a world in which a woman is capable of pathologically taunting a man who tries to buy her affection, if only because they cannot clearly communicate their honest desires to one another.
August 08, 2014
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Like all films where nothing exists but the logical sequence of situations, That Obscure Object of Desire (1977) transfers very well to television. Nothing distracts from the essential, since only the essential is left.
November 29, 1988
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