Watch: Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie 1972 123movies, Full Movie Online – Several bourgeois friends planning to get together for dinner experience a succession of highly unusual occurrences that interfere with their expected dining enjoyment..
Plot: In Luis Buñuel’s deliciously satiric masterpiece, an upper-class sextet sits down to dinner but never eats, their attempts continually thwarted by a vaudevillian mixture of events both actual and imagined.
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|7.8/10 Votes: 43,592|
|98% | RottenTomatoes|
|93/100 | MetaCritic|
|N/A Votes: 631 Popularity: 11.495 | TMDB|
This came in the outstanding 10-DVD boxed set ‘Rialto Pictures: 10 Years’, one of the finest things I’ve bought from The Criterion Collection (and a great deal too, one I’d heartily endorse).
I had to wait an entire day, after watching the dreadful ‘Disaster Movie’, to get the acrid taste out of my mouth to watch this one, by my fourth favourite director ever (‘Viridiana’ is still probably my favourite of his, though). Luckily it had three of my favourite French actors from the period, in Bulle Ogier (just check out ‘Maitresse’ if you don’t understand why), Delphine Seyrig and Fernando Rey (for the two ‘French Connection’ films alone)–even though for a director of Bunuel’s strength, any actors could have sufficed. It’s the ideas that stand out most triumphantly.
It’s most known for being Bunuel’s Oscar-winner for Best Foreign Language Film, but its OTHER nomination is what’s almost neglected when people talk about him. Yes, they talk about Bunuel the director, or (from David Thomson) Bunuel the photographer, but people never realize his two nominations for the Calanda, Spain-native were never for director, but for writing (with another nod for his swan song, ‘The Obscure Object of Desire’).
It’s quite a difficult film to review this, as it essentially has no real plot and very little structure. It is a series of dream sequences following a group of friends – each with some form of skeleton in their closet – as they try to meet for a dinner that repeatedly gets aborted. Fernando Rey is on good form as the Ambassador from the Republic of “Miranda” – a man living in fear for his life from revolutionaries at home, and who is also not averse to adding a little spice to the contents of the diplomatic bag. Jean-Pierre Cassel and Stéphane Audran are the “Sénéchal” couple – they like a bit of al fresco nookie; the “Thévenot” couple (Delphine Seyrig and Paul Frankeur) are ostensibly the most normal of the group, though the latter has a bit going on the side with “Florence” (Bulle Ogier). We are never quite sure why they are friends at all, but none of that really matters. It is the very unstructured nature of this that makes it work. Each of their dreams offers us a different – sometimes amusing, sometimes rather violent – short story as the group try to sit down to eat. Personally, I was rather fond of the gardening Bishop “Dufour” (Julien Bertheau) who seems to flit between his religious and gardening garb as if by magic. The dialogue isn’t maybe the best, but the scenarios and a lot of imagination from director Luis Buñuel combine to offer us something that is quirky and entertaining. It doesn’t really need a cinema screening – the production and photography are fine but really this is all about some whacky characterisations that don’t always make sense, but do engage.
An incisive satire on social mores and class hypocracy
“The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie”, a leisurely paced, incisive satire on social mores and class hypocrisy, opens with a group of friends arriving on the wrong day of a dinner engagement. this is only the begining of a succession of unexpected and unusual events to follow. The dinner party is the movie’s main setting and it is there that reality and illusion often times blend imperceptibly together. The film is structured as a series of surreal sequences, which prompted esteemed film critic Pauline Kael to opine ‘His(Director Louis Bunuel) indifference to dramatic logic is complete.’ And how. Bunuel’s narrative plays an elaborate game with the viewer through it’s subconscious imagery and audacious use of time. His tendency to experiment with technique and form often times led to discovery and innovation. The cinema of Louis Bunuel invariably deals with the discrepancy between appearance and reality; decorum and desire. His world view was subversive and anarchistic. He was a cheerful pessimist, skeptical but not susceptible to Bergmanian despair. His skepticism extended to all of those he found playing too neat a social game. The filmmaker’s career was one sustained assault on authoritarianism. Witness an indiscreet character in the film who claims: ‘No one system can help the masses acquire refinement.’ He believed man was, unconsciously, a slave to custom and aimed to shock viewers out of their unthinking acceptance of established values. “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie”(An Academy Award winner in 1972 for Best Foreign Film) is a boldly inventive picture. Dozens of frames are filled with clever filmic devices: environmental noises increase inordinately during routine conversations; an ambiguous procession is inserted freely within the text. These cinematic ploys add intrigue to the already peculiar goings-on. The walk by the main group of characters along a country roadside is mysterious and compelling. The players are noticeably silent and contemplative. Is this an anxious dream? The afterlife? An insignificant flashback? Whichever, the recurring sequence underscores the obliqueness and cool obscurity of the film. One might not identify closely with the disenchanted Bunuelian sensibility or the unsentimental stance he takes, however one knows immediately and unmistakably that they are in the gifted hands of a film technician like a Godard or Kurosawa. A director in complete control of his medium. A highly personal filmmaker frequently referred as ‘a poet of hallucination who follows the caprices of his fantastical imagination.’ Someone whose fanciful paths of creation were invariably led by the irrational. “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie”, with it’s arresting mixture of calculation and carelessness, remains a unique and influential movie. The acerbic films of Robert Altman and the perverse mischievousness of the Coen brothers films, to mention but a few, pay a large debt to the strange universe and unconventional perspective of Louis Bunuel. Film lovers uninitiated in surrealist cinema will find “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” an alluring and beguiling crash course.
Somewhere within the miles of celluloid, Luis Bunuel could be heard snickering to himself as he put these hapless socialites through the most absurd situations as he made them, in a parallel world, walk through fields of green down a road that seems to lead to somewhere but proves to be a road to nowhere.
Isn’t it an overwhelming experience to meet a director’s work just at the moment he’s at his peak form? The exhilaration of letting his vision come through to you, invade your senses, and make the exact connections, has to be of the most intimate kind — mind to heart. If and when that happens, you can safely say you are in the hands of a master of visual storytelling.
Luis Bunuel was seventy-two when he directed his Oscar-winning film LE CHARME DISCRET DE LA BOURGEOISIE. This is the age period when many directors tend to lose their touch and favor some excess baggage or poor storytelling in lieu of sharp execution. Virtually every director who has reached this late period in life and is still working has the tendency to suffer at the encroaching shadow of death. Just look at the work of Sidney Lumet, Woody Allen (who since MATCH POINT is on his way back to form), Kubrick’s last movie EYES WIDE SHUT, to name a few.
Not Bunuel. Right up untl his last movie — CET OBSCUR OBJET DU DESIR — he was razor-sharp, keen, and as subtle as a bulldozer, and that’s why this film is one of his best and a fascinating work of art. The story of six socialites who can never seem to consummate a simple social act — in this case, dining — due to the most implausible of things is in one way a version of his 1962 film EL ANGEL EXTERMINADOR, but where in that film there was no way out of a house, here all of the characters are in constant freedom. That is, until Bunuel reveals his fangs and decides he’s gotten tired of playing cat and mouse with this horrendously vapid, vicious people.
Hearkening back to L’AGE D’OR, Bunuel revisits the themes he introduced in that film: couples needing to make love in their own garden, causing an uproar, or upright citizens committing crimes against defenseless people (in this case, a member of the clergy who gets reunited with the man who killed his parents and who pretends to absolve the dying man before shooting him in the head, a hysterical high point). One could argue that there seems to be no point in going around in circles… but then again, aren’t the lives of these “rich and famous” equally pointless? Aren’t these the kind of people who would look down at anyone who wasn’t a part of their social circle? Aren’t these the same people who, despite living a life of complacency, also have their own dabbling in the underbelly of society — drug trade — and have become the inevitable targets of terrorists who would rather eradicate them from the face of this Earth?
Ironically, the Surrealist elements of the movie are less to be remembered due to the fact that they’re not meant to shock as much as to be a part of the “plot”, itself as absurd as a pie in the sky or a Magritte painting. A man is tortured with some odd device inside a piano as the camera pans away to show cockroaches pouring out from inside it, a slight nod to the odd piano sequence from UN CHIEN ANDALOU. The jailer is shown bleeding, at death’s door, freeing the six socialites — a nod to the bleeding man in L’AGE D’OR. A soldier tells his own story of discovering his father wasn’t his father via his dead mother who appears in a way similar to the way ghosts tend to manifest themselves in Asian horror films. And of course, whenever there needs to be an logical explanation of things, Bunuel incorporates big, booming sounds, essentially telling us that he could care less of the machinations of things. Because after all, this is a man who was never at ease explaining films, and who made them because this was his way of expressing himself. And in making movies for himself, he made movies for the masses who could get his warped but irreverent view of humanity.
Original Language fr
Runtime 1 hr 42 min (102 min)
Director Luis Buñuel
Writer Luis Buñuel, Jean-Claude Carrière
Actors Fernando Rey, Delphine Seyrig, Paul Frankeur
Country France, Italy, Spain
Awards Won 1 Oscar. 8 wins & 11 nominations total
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Mono
Aspect Ratio 1.66 : 1
Camera Panavision Cameras and Lenses
Laboratory Laboratoires GTC, Joinville, France
Film Length N/A
Negative Format 35 mm
Cinematographic Process Spherical
Printed Film Format 35 mm, Digital (Digital Cinema Package DCP)