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Belle de Jour 18 rating

Luis Buñuel's provocative classic about a bored and neglected housewife (Catherine Deneuve) risks her reputation to take up a daring new hobby.

Drama 1967 100 mins

Director: Luis Buñuel


Bored housewife Séverine (Catherine Deneuve), in love with but sexually remote from her surgeon husband, starts spending her afternoons at a high-class brothel. Soon, given the jealous desire she arouses in some clients, her anonymity and marriage are at risk.

True to his surrealist roots, Luis Buñuel blurs the distinction between ‘reality’ and Séverine’s masochistic fantasies; he also eschews sensationalism, opting for subtle details all the more intriguing in their ambiguity. Like the production design and costumes, Sacha Vierny’s cinematography and Séverine herself, this provocative classic exudes elegance – but that, Buñuel reminds us, counts for little compared to the inner life...