Film Review: Belle du Jour
By Brigette Ginter
Belle de Jour is back in theaters! Re-released for its 50th anniversary, restored and retouched to high definition (4K resolution!), Belle de Jour looks pretty good. Belle de Jour (1967) is written and directed by Luis Buñuel, and stars Catherine Deneuve in the title role. Loosely translated “Afternoon Beauty,” Deneuve plays a bored/frigid/wealthy Parisian housewife turned afternoon prostitute (hence the name). Luis Buñuel is a surrealist director and artist that worked with the likes of Salvador Dali, so appropriately this film is full of surreal, dreamlike aspects.
When I heard that the Riviera was playing one of my all time favorite films, I couldn’t wait to see how it looked. Belle de Jour is really a feast for the eyes. For one thing, Catherine Deneuve’s costumes are designed by Yves Saint Laurent so she always looks impeccable. I remember when I first watched the film, I was immediately struck by Deneuve’s classy Parisian glamour.
At the time it was originally released in the 1960’s I am sure the film shocked audiences for its plot and overt erotica. 50 years later, Belle de Jour is still surreal, confusing, and incredibly intriguing.
I hadn’t seen the film in quite a while, and never on the big screen, so this was quite a treat. Thanks to the Riviera for continuing to show such artsy, one of a kind films.
"Belle de Jour" is playing at the Riviera Theater through May 3. "Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami" will then open on May 4.