Severine is a beautiful young woman married to a doctor. She loves her husband dearly, but cannot bring herself to be physically intimate with him. She indulges instead in vivid, kinky, erotic fantasies to entertain her sexual desires. Eventually she becomes a prostitute, working in a brothel in the afternoons while remaining chaste in her marriage.Written by
James Meek <email@example.com>
'Belle De Jour' is a movie which requires multiple viewing to fully appreciate. We live in an era of explicit sex and violence in movies are commonplace, and where we are very rarely required to think. 'Belle De Jour' is not like this. What you don't see is more important than what you do. It is a movie which needs a little effort on the viewers part. Persevere, you will be rewarded.
The basic plot is easy to understand. Severine (Catherine Deneuve in a superbly understated performance) is a beautiful, sexually repressed young bride. Her husband Pierre (Jean Sorel) adores her, but their marriage remains chaste. Severine suffers from dreams and hallucinations of debasement. She eventually is employed in a brothel during the day under a pseudonym, while continuing to live a bourgeois life with her unsuspecting husband. I won't reveal what happens after that.
That is the bare bones of the story, but it gives you no idea of HOW Bunuel tells it, which is what makes 'Belle De Jour' such a gem. I think this movie is one of the landmarks of 1960s cinema, and has aged wonderfully. In fact it gets better and better as most contemporary movies about sex get poorer and poorer. A movie that will haunt you. Superb!
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