Master surrealist director Luis Buñuel’s satire follows the exploits of a group of bourgeois friends whose attempts to have a sophisticated dinner with one another seems to be constantly foiled by the most bizarre of circumstances.
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The Discreet Charm of the BourgeoisieDirected byLuis Buñuel
The allusions to corrupt Latin American regimes and leftist terrorist cells suggest a certain political anger, but that anger is tempered by Buñuel’s unaccountably genial depiction of the filthy rich characters.
There is no tedium in this continual anti-narrative acquiescence, even if we, too, temper our prospects and welcome irrational contradictions, deceptions, and a stream-of-conscious coordination of defeated momentum. Instead, we marvel at the clever capriciousness and the humorous inventiveness.
I find it hard to talk about this because I love it too much. It's the funniest, chilliest and most poetic nightmare anyone has ever attempted to commit to the screen. Everything by Buñuel is sublime, but this is one of his greatest achievements.
Not quite biting the hand that feeds him, but a fair proportion of Bunuel's audience is simultaneously skewered in this delicious laceration of haute bourgeoisie mores and rituals. Perhaps his most approachable work and a good starting point for the waking surrealism that confounds and bewilders all that is hypocritical established. An hilarious summation of recurring themes, notably from The Exterminating Angel.
Entertaining watch, but far from my favorite Buñuel. Within the playground the filmmaker likes to explore, I find Belle de Jour and Exterminating Angel to be much more accomplished films. Still, it's always a pleasure observing an actor like Fernando Rey portray smugness in such a delightfully satiric fashion.