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