Diary of a Chambermaid

  |  Book Tickets: 17/04/2015
  |  Buy to Own: 15/07/2013
  |  97 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC
Diary of a Chambermaid Film Poster


Second screen adaptation of Octave Mirbeau's novel (which was first filmed by Jean Renoir in 1946) by surrealist Spanish director Luis Buñuel. Jeanne Moreau stars as Celestine, a beautiful and sharp-witted young maid from Paris who arrives to work on the rural Normandy estate of the wealthy Monsieur Rabour (Jean Ozenne), his daughter Madame Monteil (Françoise Lugagne) and her husband Monsieur Montiel (Michel Piccoli). Celestine soon becomes conversant with the family's quirks: M Rabour is a foot fetishist (a preference with which Celestine has no choice but to comply), while M Montiel, locked in a loveless marriage with his frigid wife, indulges in various dalliances with the female servants. Meanwhile Joseph (George Géret), the fascist grounds keeper, has set his sights on Celestine, but she refuses him - until a young girl, Clare (Dominique Sauvage) is killed, and, believing that Joseph is responsible for her murder, Celestine finally sleeps with him to elicit a confession. A scathing commentary on the fascism that was gaining ground in 1930s France underpins the film, as Celestine realises that, despite their hypocrisy and moral corruption, it is not her dim-witted bourgeois employers that pose a threat so much as the scheming, Jew-hating upper servant Joseph, a black-hearted yet strangely alluring character who rules the servants with intimidation and colludes with his bourgeois employers to serve his own interests.