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Avis des critiques
Belle de jour
Luis Buñuel France, 1967
Belle de Jour, Luis Buñuel’s coolly outrageous masterpiece (and greatest commercial success), features Catherine Deneuve as a haute bourgeois matron who spends her afternoons working at a respectable, but hardly deluxe, brothel. As flawless as its star, the movie is founded on the great surrealist’s genius for free-associative chitchat and orchestrated Freudian slips, right down to its teasingly open ending.
February 27, 2018
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The endless appeal of Belle du jour, I won’t be the first to say, is its insistence on the fantasy and the reality; one doesn’t replace or resolve the other, just as cobbling together an origin story to explain our most singular obsessions cannot exorcise them. As Buñuel knew, a shoe is a shoe is a shoe—unless it’s so much more.
May 13, 2015
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So much is going on, and yet all of it seems effortless, comfortable in mastery and drollery. The choppiness of the cuts in the opening “dream” sequence is bracing (and reminiscent of the dedication ceremony scene in L’age d’or somehow) but also weirdly sets the film’s fluidity of tone.
January 10, 2015
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Always intriguing, gorgeously shot by Vierny, but it suffers from a Gallic variation on the Ralph Bellamy problem, with Séverine’s husband too dishwater-dull even if we posit (and there’s no particular reason to do so) that we’re seeing not the actual man but only her warped perception of him. Likewise, the badass kid gangster is absurd, and while one could argue that this, too, is by design, it still strikes me as ill-considered. Deneueve’s blankness, on the other hand, is sheer perfection.
February 13, 2012
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Haunting, amusing, provocative, teasing, and elegant in its puzzlelike ambiguities, this is essential viewing.
July 14, 1995
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I would argue that Belle de Jour is indeed a beautiful film, but not because of any anesthetizing aesthetic of benevolently mindless lyricism. Nor is the film beautiful because its director’s visual style transcends its sordid subject. The beauty of Belle de Jour is the beauty of artistic rigor and adaptable intelligence.
May 09, 1968
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The beauty of Belle de Jour lies in the fact that Buñuel has made interpretation irrelevant, blending memory, fantasy and reality into an indissoluble whole. While Severine’s life and fantasies betray a total separation of flesh and spirit, love and eroticism, Sacha Vierny’s camerawork fuses the two realms into one by extracting (as Baudelaire chose to do) the quintessentially beautiful from good and evil alike.
December 01, 1967
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