Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie (The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie). 1972. France/Italy/Spain. Directed by Luis Buñuel. Screenplay by Buñuel, Jean-Claude Carrière. With Delphine Seyrig, Stéphane Audran, Fernando Rey, Paul Frankeur. In French; English subtitles. 105 min.
“Luis Buñuel’s 1972 comic masterpiece, about three well-to-do couples who try and fail to have a meal together, is perhaps the most perfectly achieved and executed of all his late French films. The film proceeds by diverse interruptions, digressions, and interpolations (including dreams and tales within tales) that, interestingly enough, identify the characters, their class, and their seeming indestructibility with narrative itself. One of the things that makes this film as charming as it is, despite its radicalism, and helped Buñuel win his only Oscar is the perfect cast, many of whom bring along nearly mythic associations acquired in previous French films. Frightening, funny, profound, and mysterious” (Jonathan Rosenbaum).
35mm print from The Museum of Modern Art; courtesy Rialto Pictures