Belle Toujours

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Belle Toujours ★★★ 2006

Thirtynine years after “Belle de Jour” comes this sequel — or perhaps more of an homage — from Manoel de Oliveira. A chance meeting after so many years places Henri Husson (Piccoli) and Severine (Ogier) at a candlelit dinner table where they discuss the past, the intervening years, and thoughts of the future. Severine, now a widow worn down by years of carrying secrets and lies, seems to care little about reliving their sexually complicated past and in fact is prepared to retire to a convent. Henri, still feeling the dart of her rejection, wants to recount the sordid history they share. In the earlier film the young Severine supported herself and her disabled husband as a daytime prostitute, a secret she meticulously kept from her husband; Henri wanted a relationship with her that never happened. Paris sparkles in this beautifully crafted work. 68m/C DVD . FR PT Michel Piccoli, Bulle Ogier, Ricardo Trepa, Leonor Baldaque, Julia Buisel; D: Manoel de Oliveira; W: Manoel de Oliveira; C: Sabine Lancelin.