Blu-ray, DVD Release: Diary of a Chambermaid (2015)

Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Oct. 4, 2016
Price: DVD $14.99, Blu-ray $17.99
Studio: Cohen Media

Léa Seydoux (Mysteries of Lisbon) follows in the footsteps of Paulette Goddard (Modern Times) and Jeanne Moreau (La Notte, The Train) as Célestine in the drama Diary of a Chambermaid, a 2015 version of the seemingly timeless tale, directed by Benoît Jacquot (Farewell, My Queen).

As a resentful young Parisian chambermaid who finds herself exiled to a position in the provinces where Célestine immediately chafes against the noxious iron rules and pettiness of her high-handed bourgeois mistress (Clotilde Mollet), must rebuff the groping advances of Monsieur (Hervé Pierre), and reckon with her fascination with the earthy, brooding gardener Joseph (Vincent Lindon, Mademoiselle Chambon).

Léa Seydoux is Célestine in the drama Diary of a Chambermaid.

Léa Seydoux is Célestine in the drama Diary of a Chambermaid.

Backtracking past the fetishism of Buñuel’s  (Belle de Jour) version to Octave Mirbeau‘s original 1900 novel, Benoît Jacquot has one eye on contemporary France: the sense of social stiflement, Célestine’s humiliating submission to Madame’s onerous terms of employment, Joseph’s virulent anti-Semitism. But the turn-of-the-century setting saw the rise of Freudian ideas about the human unconscious and so Jacquot takes care to look past the characters’ outward behavior and appearance to the repression and compulsions that lie behind.

This latest take on Chambermaid received respectable notices from the critics upon its limited theatrical release in the U.S. last June, garnering a 66% rating at aggregator Rotten Tomatoes based upon    published reviews.

Presented in French with English subtitles, the DVD and Blu-ray editions of the film includes a making-of featurette and theatrical trailer as bonus features.

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About Laurence

Founder and editor Laurence Lerman saw Alfred Hitchcock’s North by Northwest when he was 13 years old and that’s all it took. He has been writing about film and video for more than a quarter of a century for magazines, anthologies, websites and most recently, Video Business magazine, where he served as the Reviews Editor for 15 years.