Luis Bunuel's erotic masterpiece Belle de Jour is one of the sexiest films ever made. It tells the story of a woman named Severine played by the beautiful legendary actress Catherine Deneuve who is a sexually repressed and deeply unsatisfied bourgeois Paris housewife, who finds erotic liberation through psychosexual fetishes and fantasies working at a part-time brothel. Bunuel understands eroticism inside and out, all without resorting to any explicit sex or on-screen nudity and instead brilliantly projects most of the sexual fetishes through the viewer's imagination and surreal desires.
"I felt they showed more of me than they'd said they were going to," Catherine Deneuve remarked to Pascal Bonitzar in 2004. "There were moments when I felt totally used. I was very unhappy." Despite how Luis Bunuel treated her during the filming of the movie, Deneuve can't deny that the character of Severine turned out to be one of her most iconic and remembered roles. What makes Belle de Jour even more fascinating and somewhat tragic are the psychological pathology for Severine's unusual liberating behavior. Her deep-rooted sexual fetish desires in rape and sadomasochism aren't really explored or answered in the film, except through small glimpses of her childhood, which suggest that she may have been a victim of sexual abuse when she was just a young child.