Diary of a Chambermaid - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Diary of a Chambermaid Reviews

Page 1 of 1
July 1, 2013
2: Something just doesn't seem right here. A Hollywood version of Diary of a Chambermaid in English directed by Renoir? It seems obvious to me that this put Renoir off his game. The Bunuel version with Jeanne Moreau from about 18 years later is vastly superior in practically every way. Renoir just seems to be out of his element and the characters, sets, locations, dialogue, etc all seem to know it. Paulette Goddard is fine as Celestine, but nothing to write home about. The story seems a bit drained of vitality and life. There isn't enough verve, craziness, passion, etc to make one believe in the film. Too bad. I suspect Renoir could have done this well in other circumstances.
May 12, 2012
Good for its time. Paulette Goddard gives us an amazing performance.
November 12, 2011
JR.French legend in the States.
July 18, 2010
Atmospheric Hollywood melodrama. The art direction is exquisite as is the black and white cinematography. Performances range from wooden (Goddard) to over the top (Meredith) Stand-outs ar Judith Anderson and Lederer as the brooding Joseph.
Well worth a look.
November 16, 2009
recommended by kunam88.
November 15, 2009
got into this movie with little misunderstanding (i thought its the Luis bunuel Version!).,but dear,just so glad that i watch this Renoir intrepretation.,this is a great movie with a great story,an overlooked classic (only 13 reviews in flixster)
December 30, 2008
wow ummn just seen this movie 4 the 1st time n think that this is a really good movie 2 watch its got a really good cast of actors/actressess throughout this movie its an enjoyable movie 2 watch its filmed in black n white but this is a really good drama/classc/comedy movie 2 watch..sure its was released in 1946 but its a good enjoyable movie 2 watch n its a really enjoyable movie 2 watch
December 15, 2008
The various seductions of the title characters make for a good film version of the novel, however the finer elements are in the various eclectic performances.
Super Reviewer
July 11, 2008
nominated for best picture by NBR
May 17, 2008
A few great scene make this worth mentioning but still middle rung Renoir. Goddard was used better by Chaplin. The final mob scene is stellar and the captains accidental homicide of his pet squirel said more about death then a dozen overrated Bergman films.
½ May 8, 2008
You know you've become a film snob when you can make sweeping generalizations based on a director. For example, this morning, I started and turned off [i]1900[/i], because Bertolucci tends to do vast, sweeping, rather dull epics. This was followed by the film we're about to discuss, [i]Le Journal d'une femme de chambre[/i], directed by Luis Buñuel. In Luis Buñuel, we have found a man who got his start in film working with Salavador Dalí on [i]Un chien andalou[/i], after all. This means, at least from what I've seen of his work (we've dabbled in it here), films that are deeply significant, though it may not always be possible to tell about what.

Céléstine (Jeanne Moreau) has arrived in I'm-not-sure-where to become a chambermaid to the Monteil family. This includes the mistress of the house (Françoise Lugagne), who is strict and fussy; the master of the house (Michel Piccoli), who is rather distant and enjoys hitting on the staff, it seems; and the mistress's father, M. Rabour (Jean Ozenne), a Creepy Old Man with a foot fetish who has apparently gotten several of the chambermaids pregnant. Or maybe it's the master who did that; it was most of the way through the movie before I realized that they were two different people.

In addition, there is the murder of little Claire (Dominique Sauvage). We never know for sure who did it, though we are certainly led to believe that it is Joseph (Georges Géret). Certainly Céléstine believes he did it, and she embarks on a very weird series of actions in order to ensure that he sees justice for it. It's from that point that I stopped understanding what was going on, I'm afraid, so if you watch it, you're on your own.

It's well-filmed, of course; that is one thing we can count on from Buñuel. Even in his really deeply weird stuff, the filming is worth watching for. Some of the closeups of Céléstine's face alone are worth it--look, for example, at the moment where she's wearing the boots and the old man is polishing them. There is deep resignation on her face, a willingness to go along with this if this is what it takes for her life to be as comfortable as she wants it to be. On the other hand, she also seems strangely intrigued by the whole thing. It may well be how we as an audience are intended to feel, though I dislike speculating about what we're "supposed" to feel about an art film.

And this is an art film. There's a story, here, but I don't feel it's really important. We are watching Céléstine. Things happen around her, but there's a limit to how much she cares--or how much we do.
Super Reviewer
½ March 27, 2008
Celestine, a French servant girl (Paulette Goddard), decides she's had enough of kowtowing to her masters, struggles with the gold-digging side of her nature, and eventually crashes through the class barrier to find true love, symbolically on Bastille Day. Renoir's American movies are generally not up to the standard of his best work, and "Diary of a Chambermaid" is no exception. Tonally it is rather uneven, and one suspects that a lightening or a darkening of Burgess Meredith's script could equally have improved it. Although they're never remotely convincing, the 'exterior' sets are quite grand, and Renoir makes good use of them with his fluid camerawork. The cast is good: Goddard as Celestine, Meredith as an impish ball of energy and Judith Anderson (Hitchcock's Mrs Danvers from "Rebecca") as an indomitable matriarch. Francis Lederer and Hurd Hatfield, as two of Goddard's suitors, a wicked valet and a consumptive aristocrat, respectively, each deliver their lines rather stiffly, but each, also, has a magnetic screen presence.
February 11, 2008
Bit too silly for me.
½ February 3, 2007
A very entertaining movie. Nowadays, there aren't movies like it.
Page 1 of 1