Belle de Jour
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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 gang-raped. 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… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A delicacy, a passionate and compassionate study of erotica."
‑ Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News
"This silly little masterpiece regards Deneuve as the goddess of light she really was -- a figment of our collective appetite for the unreal."
‑ Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
"Luis Bunuel's cheerfully brazen satire of sexual repression, social decorum, and erotic fantasies is in the running for Bunuel's kinkiest film, and that's saying a lot."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"...is a fascinating cinematic achievement that dares to connect Deneuve's porcelain beauty to a world of bourgeois rebellion."
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"Icy sketch of prostitute's life by one of film's greatest directors"
‑ Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International
"It is possibly the best-known erotic film of modern times, perhaps the best."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Every detail has been so carefully thought out that seeing it again is like seeing it in another key."
‑ Renata Adler, New York Times
"Something that keeps us on our toes in Belle de Jour comes from Luis Buñuel's refusal to spell out what is real and what is not. Must this be so clear to us when the fantasy life of Séverine means so much to her?"
‑ Eric Melin, Scene-Stealers.com
"One of the most acclaimed and accessible masterworks of surrealist cinema, an erotic meditaton about reality and fantasy that remains alluring and shocking decades after it was made, at least partly due to Catherine Deneuve's cool, mesmerizing performance"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Oddly fascinating."
‑ Jurgen Fauth, About.com
"Of all the supposedly challenging attractions playing locally in our supposedly more enlightened era, the most compellingly erotic and entertaining spectacle is still provided by Belle de Jour"
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"A wise, enormously enjoyable film about the power of fantasy -- a toast to the importance of dreams."
‑ Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
"A character study with surreal interludes and a rare film in which Buñuel depicts a member of the upper class with some sympathy and depth"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"A surprisingly discreet film considering the erotic nature of the subject matter."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"A radical work that both looks back at the director's own early surrealist cinema and anticipates the work of David Lynch."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
More reviews for Belle de Jour on Rotten Tomatoes

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