DVD review: Belle de Jour (3 out of 5)

Belle de Jour
Belle de Jour

One of the iconic movies from France in the 1960s has been given a facelift for its 50th birthday and is now out on DVD and BD.

Belle de Jour was quite revolutionary, dealing with topics that were glossed over normally in films.

The newly restored version has some excellent extras that provide plenty of insight into the subject matter.

Catherine Deneuve plays beautiful young housewife Séverine Serizy who has everything - a handsome husband, nice house and a life of leisure.

However, she has masochistic fantasies and is unable to make love to her husband who tends to put her on a pedestal.

Instead she adopts the name of Belle de Jour and begins to work secretly for a few hours a day at a high class brothel.

But one young client, a local gangster, takes too much of an interest and threatens to ruin her life.

Despite the subject matter, most of the scenes seem quite tame these days and it’s certainly far more discreet than many current TV programmes.

However, it still has an appeal with the cast in good form and director Luis Buñuel providing a masterclass on pulling a film together.

The Buñuel Collection, a Blu-Ray boxset of 7 of Buñuel’s films will be released on October 23.