Review: ‘Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie’

Luis Bunuel adds another fine film to his solid record with this surrealistically oriented tale of so-called bourgeois types. Film encompasses South American politics, delves into his usual look at Church clerics, the army, and the monied upper class that is at once timely and timeless.

Luis Bunuel adds another fine film to his solid record with this surrealistically oriented tale of so-called bourgeois types. Film encompasses South American politics, delves into his usual look at Church clerics, the army, and the monied upper class that is at once timely and timeless.

A haughty ambassador (Fernando Rey), two fairly-rich friends and their relative come for dinner at a rich couple’s home but find it is the wrong day. The husband is not there. Going to a restaurant, they cannot eat there as the owner has just died. Pic looks like a reverse twist on Bunuel’s The Exterminating Angel, where some well-endowed people sit down to eat at a friend’s home but cannot then leave the room.

Dinners are interrupted by a group of soldiers on maneuvers, and terrorists breaking in and slaughtering the main characters. Each major male type has a dream that works into the fabric of the pic.

Bunuel again says this is his last film but, hopefully, he will be talked into more. [His last film was That Obscure Object of Desire, 1977.] At 72, he is a youthful filmmaker. His handling of a solid cast is impeccable.

1972: Best Foreign Language Film

Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie

France - Spain - Italy

Production

Greenwich/Jet/Dean. Director Luis Bunuel; Producer Serge Silberman; Screenplay Luis Bunuel, Jean-Claude Carriere; Camera Edmond Richard; Editor Helene Plemiannikov; Music [none];; Art Director Pierre Guffroy

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1972. Running time: 100 MIN.

With

Fernando Rey Delphine Seyrig Stephane Audran Jean-Pierre Cassel Paul Frankeur Bulle Ogier

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