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The Diary of a Chambermaid

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Original title
Le journal d'une femme de chambre
Running time
97 min.
France France
Luis Buñuel, Jean-Claude Carrière (Novel: Octave Mirbeau)
Roger Fellous (B&W)
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Co-production France-Italy; Speva / Filmsonor / Dear Film Produzione / Ciné-Alliance
Drama | 1930s. Satire
Synopsis / Plot
The second screen version of Octave Mirbeau's novel (originally filmed in 1946 by Jean Renoir), Diary of a Chambermaid charts the ambitions of Celestine (Jeanne Moreau), a woman who comes to work in the 1930s for a Normandy estate occupied by Monsieur Rabour, his daughter, and the daughter's husband, Monsieur Montiel. Celestine quickly learns that M. Rabour is a more or less harmless boot fetishist, his daughter a frigid woman more concerned with the family furnishings than in returning the affections of her husband, who, in turn, can't keep his hands off the servants. The gamekeeper, Joseph, is a fascist who keeps his masters informed of all the doings downstairs, and the next-door neighbor is a veteran who can't stand Monteil and is sharing a bed with his housekeeper. Celestine picks her way through this minefield carefully, spurning the advances of all of the men until it's convenient for her.
1964: Karlovy Vary International Film Festival: Best Actress (Jeanne Moreau)
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