Belle de Jour

1968

Belle de Jour

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

96%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 54

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,117
User image

Belle de Jour Photos

Movie Info

Belle de Jour dramatizes the collision between depravity and elegance, one of the favorite themes of director Luis Buñuel. Catherine Deneuve stars as a wealthy but bored newlywed, eager to taste life to the fullest. She seemingly gets her wish early in the film when she is kidnapped, tied to a tree, and whipped. It turns out that this is only a daydream, but her subsequent visits to a neighboring brothel, where she offers her services, certainly seem to be real. This illusion/reality dichotomy extends to the final scenes, in which we are offered two possible endings. Thanks to a question of copyright and ownership, Belle de Jour disappeared from view shortly after its 1967 release, not even resurfacing on videotape. When it was reissued theatrically in 1994, many critics placed the perplexing but mesmerizing film on their lists of that year's best films.

Watch it now

Cast

News & Interviews for Belle de Jour

Critic Reviews for Belle de Jour

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (13)

Audience Reviews for Belle de Jour

  • May 28, 2017
    The premise of a pretty young housewife (Catherine Deneuve) who has dark sexual fantasizes and becomes a prostitute in order to engage in them is interesting, but the execution is lacking, and seems quite dated. To start with, there is no emotional honesty in this film, it's instead antiseptic and superficial. Deneuve's acting is poor, displaying all the range of a mannequin. Director Luis Buñel weaves fantasies directly into the plot, but not in ways that hadn't been done before in 1967, and far from "surreal". There is nothing erotic at all here, and the fantasies seem suspiciously like male fantasies, not female. I did like how Buñel avoided using a soundtrack, and the creepiness of the husband's friend (Michel Piccoli), but that's about it, otherwise it was a snooze. It's a little mystifying to me as to how this film is a masterpiece, but I guess to each his or her own.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 30, 2013
    there is a point at which the film stands still a bit too long, but taken as a whole its commentary on the human psyche is very interesting and effective. of course, deneuve is very good, as are each of the supporters, and the mapping of the film was well done. a very good film.
    danny d Super Reviewer
  • Dec 26, 2012
    Rating: 3 stars Arthouse Rating: 3.5 stars Luis Bunuel created the colorful and seductive work of Belle de Jour. An emotionally but not sexually pleased woman, who goes into prostitution, and also has several bondage fantasies. The film opens with one of these fantasies, and similar to the opening suicide scene in Harold & Maude, we are informed it isn't reality. Everything does feel real enough though, the genuine development of the character "Belle de Jour" was paced professionally. The tension between her and an obsessive client brings a true turning point in the story. The film had you sucked in the whole time, it played with your mind, and pushed the borders. While it did expose some taboos to the screen, I believe it didn't go to far, as to making the viewer turned off. While it was entertaining, I believe the end was unexplained. Bunuel had the potential to pull anything out during the full film, but the ending was delicate, and it ended up coming out of nowhere. I have no true explanation, while it did stick to you, I think it'll result in the movie being forgotten in the mind. The core of the film is toned, but there was no outer result.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 04, 2012
    One of the most amazing surrealistic film after Un Chien Andalou, It's so beautifully directed, every scene in the film blended so well together. The acting was so natural, Catherine shines as Severine. There are so much subtext and sexual innuendos but yet there is nothing graphic. I can't express how much I appreciate the direction of Bunuel. One of the best films from the French Cinema.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer

Belle de Jour Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features