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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belle.
Belle De Jour is perhaps Bunuel's most accessible film, yet strangely has the most vivid dream/fantasy sequences. While the plot sounds outlandish and unlikely, Catherine Deneuve's Severine makes a convincing transition from frigid, confused housewife to whore and temptress who delights in living her sexual fantasies, and strangely becomes closer to her husband as a...
Published on 1 Mar 2007 by René Daumal

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9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Did I watch the same film?
Enthused by the universally ecstatic reviews I rented "Belle de Jour" and...? Well, if this is a cinema classic then what does that make genuinely brilliant and ground-breaking films from the same period such as "Blow Up", "2001 A Space Odyssey", "The Graduate" etc.

Most of the acting's incredibly stylised and in several cases almost risible, and while...
Published on 8 Mar 2009 by nicjaytee


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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belle., 1 Mar 2007
By 
René Daumal (Northern Hemisphere) - See all my reviews
Belle De Jour is perhaps Bunuel's most accessible film, yet strangely has the most vivid dream/fantasy sequences. While the plot sounds outlandish and unlikely, Catherine Deneuve's Severine makes a convincing transition from frigid, confused housewife to whore and temptress who delights in living her sexual fantasies, and strangely becomes closer to her husband as a result.

For a film set in a brothel, it's quite discreet when it comes to sex, and most of the 'action' is implied, though Bunuel takes full advantage of the opportunity to portray the fetishism of some of the clients, himself a foot fetishist.

An ambitious and ultimately successful film which would still be controversial (and would still eclipse most contemporary cinema) were it released today.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 2 Feb 2007
It's quite amazing that a film like this could have been made in 1967. Absolutely a classic. A fascinating exploration of female masochistic fantasies, from the opening sequence to the end. Yet there's very little nudity: it's all hinted at. And the 2007 transfer to DVD is really excellent quality for a film of this age: vibrant colors and good resolution. If the theme interests you, you should definitely watch this.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic by Bunuel and starring Deneuve, 31 July 2007
By 
C. O. DeRiemer (San Antonio, Texas, USA) - See all my reviews
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Severine (Catherine Deneuve) is newly wed to a successful, young, handsome Parisian doctor, Pierre (Jean Sorel). He loves her deeply, but yearns for her to express her love in more sexual ways. Severine is chaste in her marriage, but her fantasy life is vivid and encompassing. She moves from reserve to abandonment in her mind, and we find ourselves involved in her life and her fantasies. She learns of a place where well-to-do, bored young wives play at being prostitutes. She's drawn to the idea and finally begins a hidden life from her husband, but only from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. She becomes Belle de Jour. She finds a need for released sexuality, and for humiliation and masochism. One of her clients is a young, tough hood with steel teeth, a sword cane and brutal manners. She's drawn to him, but who is using whom? She pulls back, and a confrontation may or may not be conclusive. Is it real, or another fantasy?

This is a great Bunuel film, sexual, serious, satirical. It's all about what's going on in Severine's head, and the erotic sexual life she lives. And its about sexual fantasies, most of which appear absurd when looked at. While Severine's story is fascinating, there is much of Bunuel's typical love of fetish at what he shows. The movie opens with Severine and Pierre taking a horse-drawn carriage ride into the country. The bells on the carriage begin to jingle and Pierre stops the carriage and orders the two drivers to pull Severine from the carriage, whip her and rape her. When did the fantasy in Severine's head start? In one scene Pierre and his saturnine friend played by Michel Piccoli are in the country and begin shoveling black, stinking mud into a pail. In the next instance we see Piccoli throwing handsfull of mud onto Severine, tied up and dressed in a virginal white gown. Throughout the movie the sounds of bells tinkling and cats mewing trigger a shift into erotic fantasy for Severine.

Bunuel's satiric look at mankind also shows through clearly. Severine, working afternoons as Belle de Jour, encounters a world famous gynecologist who dresses as a servant so he can be humiliated by a prostitute acting as the lady of the house. There is the large man with something in a small, enameled box that buzzes which makes one of the women say, "No," but which intrigues Severine. We never learn what's in the box. There is the duke who is aroused only when he can play the mourner with a woman pretending to be a corpse in an open casket. It all sounds grotesque, but it's funny, too. And there's not a moment of explicit sex in the film, and only a glimpse of partial nudity.

The movie is almost 40 years old and is still a fascinating look into Severine's life and her fantasies, and probably into ours as well. Deneuve is what makes the movie work. She may appear at first to be a perfectly groomed ice queen, but before long you know that a great deal is happening behind that face. Like Isabelle Huppert, she can imply serious, unsettling emotions just by looking calm.
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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beauty of the Day, 13 Sep 2000
Bunuel's 1967 film stars Catherine Deneuve as Severine, a sexless housewife, who dreams of sado-masochistic humiliation. Wanting to further her real sex-life she becomes a prostitute and finds this brings her closer to her husband. The line between reality and fiction is never made explicit in the film. This allows a subtle exploration of Severine's mind and gradual descent towards the tragic conclusion. Bunuel handles the direction gently, especially considering the dark subject matter, and the result is a joy to watch. Thematically the film is similar to Lars von Trier's "Breaking the Waves" (presumably an influence on the Danish director) and both movies display the central character being led to ruin through a transitory fulfilling sexuality within their enveloping fantasies. Without giving away the ending, Severine's desire for sexual humiliation eventually leads to a tragic depersonalisation, instead of the resolution she misguidedly seeks. Deneuve is as astonishingly beautiful as ever, and Bunuel rarely disappoints. Though perhaps slightly esoteric, I would be tempted to call this a masterpiece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Belle De Jour" on BLU RAY - UK and European Fans Must Buy The Right Issue..., 25 Feb 2014
By 
Mark Barry "Mark Barry" - See all my reviews
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As you've probably gathered most of the reviews are for the 'DVD' version of Catherine Deneuve’s 1967 classic.

At present this movie is available on BLU RAY in the States and Europe.
But therein lies a problem for UK buyers - which issue to buy?

Unfortunately the desirable USA Criterion issue is REGION-A LOCKED.
So it WILL NOT PLAY on most UK BLU RAY players unless they're chipped to play 'all' regions (which the vast majority aren't).
Don’t confuse BLU RAY players that have multi-region capability on the 'DVD' front – that won’t help.

Luckily the nicely presented Optimum issue from 2009 is REGION B – so will play on UK machines.

Check you’re purchasing the right issue before you buy...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CATHERINE DENEUVE, 15 Jan 2010
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C. T. Ballard (Bournemouth UK) - See all my reviews
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NICE TO SEE FILM AGAIN AFTER 40 YEARS. EVEN THOUGH STORY NOW WELL KNOWN THERE ARE STILL SOME FINE PERFORMANCES TO ADMIRE AND EXCELLENT PHOTOGRAPHIC WORK FOR THE TIME.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What women want..., 19 Feb 2006
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
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"Belle de Jour" is an exploration, perhaps an expose ,of the clandestine desires, elaborate deceptions and capricious natures of modern women. Catherine Deneuve is Severine, a model bourgeois wife on the surface , but underneath is the repository of dark, sado-masochistic sexual fantasies,that lead her into prostitution. Deneuve plays "Belle de Jour" superbly well, making Severine's unlikely descent into degradation and depravity entirely credible. Her double life leads to jealousy and ultimately tragedy ,however ,as her two lives converge in the form of one of her clients, Marcel. "Belle de Jour" is an entertaining, well acted film with good all round characterisation.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Belle de Blu-Ray, 16 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Belle De Jour (The Studio Canal Collection) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
I am not a huge fan of arty films but this classic from Luis Bunuel is surprisingly accessible and, thanks to a bravura performance from Catherine Deneuve and wonderful visual sense, quite engaging. Studio Cana;'s blu-ray package is on the expensive side but very worth it. The transfer is a thing of beauty. Sure, there are instances of print damage but the bulk of the film looks fantastic and I prefer the color tone on this release to that on the Criterion blu-ray release for this film. The package is handsome with a nice booklet and some substantial extras including a lengthy documentary on the work of Luis Bunuel. Highly recommended for fans of creative cinema.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By now, a classic, 15 Mar 2012
By 
66uk Belle de Jour by Luís Buñuel (1967, 101')

Belle de Jour is a 1967 French film directed by Luis Buñuel, with Catherine Deneuve in the principal role. It won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1967, and made both Deneuve and Buñuel world famous - one for quality acting (beyond her usual moving of eyebrows), the other as extraordinary director, well beyond his traditional circle of aficionados.

The film was based on the 1928 book of the same title by Joseph Kessel, a "railway station novel", and written by Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carrière. The film stars Deneuve as a woman who decides to spend her days as a prostitute while her husband, a medical doctor, is at work. She is a young, and beautiful, and has masochistic fantasies about elaborate floggings and bondage.

Further down the film, Deneuve becomes entangled with a young gangster, Pierre Clémenti, who offers her the thrills and excitements of her fantasies. After Clementi becomes more demanding and also jealous of her husband, Deneuve decides to leave the brothel. Clementi waits outside her house for her husband to return home and shoots him, in turn being shot by the police.

Deneuve's husband survives, but is left in a coma. The police can not find a motive for the murder attempt, but after he leaves hospital, now blind and in a wheelchair, Michel Piccoli, who had originally mentioned the brothel to Deneuve, possibly tells the husband the truth. In the last scene, her husband is healthy again and they kiss before looking out the window on to the film's opening scene.

The ending is ambiguous and obviously allows several interpretations. This is in line with similar ambiguities in earlier scenes, which introduce the blurring of the line between reality and daydreaming. "Deeper" interpretations have also been suggested, but they seem not to offer much beyond; yet, they regularly are asked for by viewers unhappy with a seemingly open ending ...

66uk - 15 March 2012
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4.0 out of 5 stars review of Belle de Jour, 10 Jun 2014
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I remember this film from many years ago, however i must admit there was a lot i had forgotten !! but it was great to see it again.
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Belle De Jour (The Studio Canal Collection) [Blu-ray]
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