Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB. France/Italy/Spain, 1970. Época Films, Talía Films, Selenia Cinematografica, Les Films Corona. Screen story by Luis Bunuel, Screenplay by Julio Alejandro, based on the novel by Benito Perez Galdos. Cinematography by Jose F. Aguayo. Produced by Luis Bunuel, Robert Dorfmann. Production Design by Enrique Alarcon. Costume Design by Luis Arguello, Rafael Borque. Film Editing by Pedro del Rey. Academy Awards 1970.
Luis Bunuel reunites with his Belle De Jour star Catherine Deneuve for another classic. After her mother dies, Deneuve is left in the care of a wealthy, older gentleman (Fernando Rey) who, despite being an honourable man, eventually becomes obsessively in love with his little charge. He seduces her, though he makes sure to let her know that she is under no obligation to him and is free as a bird in respect to their relationship. Franco Nero also appears as a young suitor to Deneuve. Bunuel’s wonderful story has the usually wry, devilishly clever outcome that all his films feature.