A delightful puzzle, and Deneuve's finest hour-and-a-half. She plays a happily married middle-class woman who genuinely loves, but is unable to feel passionate toward, her husband, a successful surgeon. She eventually finds fulfilment of a kind by pursing a career as a high-class,
afternoons-only (hence "Belle de Jour") prostitute.
As the film opens, a handsome young 19th-century couple (Jean Sorel, Catherine Deneuve) whisper sweet nothings to each other during a carriage ride through a beautiful country estate. Suddenly and inexplicably angered, the man orders his partner out of the carriage, and has the two drivers drag
her to a nearby tree, to which she is ...