Belle de Jour - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Belle de Jour Reviews

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July 14, 2017
Belle de Jour is an engrossing personal drama with an innate understanding of human nature, which draws in the audience and makes it hard to turn away from.
June 18, 2017
Ahead of its time and to this day relevant, Belle De Jour is a masterwork from Luis Bunuel featuring an excellent performance from Catherine Deneuve and consistently challenging the audience's perception of sexuality and morality and the crossover relationship between the two.
June 16, 2017
A mischievous exercise in surreal eroticism, Bunuel's Belle De Jour is like sexual desire put under a microscope: with a perverse filter.
Antonius Block
Super Reviewer
½ 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.
May 27, 2017
A bored housewife begins working at a local brothel and soon falls prey to an obsessive client who tries to manipulate her emotionally and reveal everything about her double life to her husband.
½ April 4, 2017
A film about prostitution that makes you believe that women want to be prostitutes, that they are "sexy during the day" that they comes from a bourgeois background and that they are happy to do this. Not a word about the 99.99% of prostitutes for whom life is a living hell, not a word about these immigrants who come from the "third" world to be sold, against their will to rich Americans. They want to make western men believe that all prostitutes are white and look like Catherine Deneuve ! After "Paris at all prices" that made you believe that illegal immigrants live in luxury, this french film gives men a good conscience to go see whores. This is sick.
½ February 4, 2017
A bored housewife begins working at a local brothel and soon falls prey to an obsessive client who tries to manipulate her emotionally and reveal everything about her double life to her husband.
October 5, 2016
A simple premise that has lots of insight by Bunuel. It's mainly an interesting dissection on gender. Bunuel also keeps his dreamlike imagery throughout here to really put you in the daze of the protagonist's psyche. Catherine Deneuve is fantastic.
½ October 2, 2016
Ugh, I don't know. A bland morality play with a beautiful woman. I love Catherine Deneuve but found this to be mostly a snoozefest, perhaps, I'm very willing to admit, because this sort of thing has been done so many times since. I was actually sort of enjoying the beginning of this, a woman exploring her sexuality and trying to become more comfortable with her past and herself. But unfortunately Bunuel had to ruin it by punishing his lead in several ways and leaving her with a 'curse' by the end. Maybe you had to have been there at the time. Or maybe you just need to be male.
½ June 29, 2016
Luis Buñuel, the greatest voice in surrealist cinema, has a unique style and technique as a filmmaker: the always-revelatory interrogation of dreams, the magisterial triumph of mad love, and as in all of his films, the 'systematic derangement of the senses' professed by Rimbaud. In the world of Buñuel, dreams rule one's thoughts; they send one plumbing the depths of consciousness, in pursuit of the unknown. In Belle de Jour, Séverine lives in an almost fictional reality, attending the brothel as work during the afternoons, and living a bourgeois conventional life at night. She is soon torn between both realities, as waking life and dreamless sleep begin to merge and confuse one another, to the point of madness. Marcel is one of Buñuel's most unforgettable characters, colorful and poetic in appearance. His gangster suave, flamboyant dress, and ruthless personality are packaged so perfectly well by actor Pierre Clémenti, that it truly makes him one of the most interesting characters in cinematic history. Before there were gold grillz and rappers with platinum caps, there was Marcel. My golden cap is proudly inspired by this film and the character of Marcel as well. 'Belle de Jour' is one of Buñuel's greatest and most accomplished works: true Art in the highest sense of imagination. Ranked within at least my top ten favorite films of all-time.
May 19, 2016
Belle de Jour is an intelligent, hugely entertaining picture not about sex, but about fantasies - and how deep they can go, and how far they can take us.
½ May 15, 2016
I don't understand why this film is considered to be great at all, and generally I'm not seeing any reasons given for its supposed greatness other than simply stating that it's great. Is the story good? No, it's pointless and sensational. Is the cinematography good? No, it's dull and forgettable. Is the message memorable/good? No, it's so one-noted and ambiguous that you can't even tell what Bunuel is saying (probably best not to know). This film fails on all the basic elements of what a film should do for me. If you're stretching yourself, you can try to say that the film is a commentary on the mixing of elegant society with base desires. On the less ad hoc level, it is a film that is made to fulfill a fantasy. Much like Séverine's fantasies, it is a dreadfully painful and particularly undesirable fantasy to have.
February 12, 2016
Catherine Deneuve was such a belle once.
I couldn't quite stand the film however.
February 7, 2016
Since you only come in the afternoons.
½ January 28, 2016
Though not as dreamlike as one might expect coming from someone like Buñuel, Belle de Jour is a deeply intelligent, deliberately bizarre look at sexual repression and class structures. Buñuel attributes Séverine's subconscious desires to her upbringing and the rigid social mores cultivated by religious institutions. Though she lives a relatively perfect, upperclass life, she wants something else sexually, something indicative of the ways in which society teaches men and women how to behave and how to perceive each other. Her life at the brothel is an independent entity that satisfies that need, her clients revealing quite a bit about what Buñuel is trying to say about what men and woman have been taught to want. Men want children or sex dolls or subservient slaves that they can abuse and control; Séverine wants to be abused. Buñuel doesn't single out these desires as natural so much as he makes clear that they are learned, decidedly unnatural. The decision to merge reality and her dreamworld is an intelligent one as well, and makes for one of the best portrayals of the almost precognitive nature of dreams I've ever seen.
½ November 5, 2015
"It is possibly the best-known erotic film of modern times, perhaps the best." - Roger Ebert
½ October 21, 2015
Certainly one of Luis Bunuel's most accessible works, made all the more fantastic by Catherine Deneuve's sultry performance.
September 5, 2015
It's sleazy in the classiest way possible. Buñuel explores a woman's repressed fantasies with his signature, dream-like style.
August 20, 2015
This movie was quite different than what I expected, but nonetheless very interesting mainly because of Deneuve's character. She was a very intriguing person that clearly doesn't have a clear pointing view and with all those dreams, it's hard to know what's real and what's not. But still, her performances was very good.
~August 20, 2015~
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