Fifth about The Seventh

That Obscure Object of Desire (Cet Obscur Objet du Désir)

That Obscure Object of Desire: Luis Buñuel’s film, ultimately, is a romance, almost a conventional one. Never mind that one character is played by two performers and the relationship is so filled with comings and goings it induces whiplash. It follows an older gentleman with too much money and time on his hands, as he falls in love with a younger servant of his house; they are both manipulative, using what they have to get what they want, but this match of imperfect people works precisely because neither is a paragon of virtue. Fernando Rey nicely plays the older gentleman, suave and entitled; Carole Bouquet and Ángela Molina share the duty of portraying the young ingénue, each a showcase of one the aspects as seen by the protagonist (the first angelic, the second more hot-blooded). Editor Hélène Plemiannikov keeps the story moving along nicely, crisscrossing from two different timelines, and uses well the fluid and economical camera of the cinematographer Edmond Richard.

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