In a summer that’s going to be filled with blockbuster spectacle, if you’re in the mood for something a little more literary, you’ll have some options. And one of them will come in the form of “Diary Of A Chambermaid,” the latest effort from Benoît Jacquot (“3 Hearts,” “Farewell My Queen“).
Based on the novel by Octave Mirbeau novel, and previously brought to the big screen by Jean Renoir and Luis Buñuel, this version stars Léa Seydoux and Vincent Lindon in the story of a Parisian chambermaid who is pushed to the professional and personal limit when she’s sent to the provinces on a new assignment. Here’s the official synopsis:
Léa Sedoux follows in the footsteps of Paulette Goddard and Jeanne Moreau as Célestine, a resentful young Parisian chambermaid who finds herself exiled to a position in the provinces where she 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). Backtracking past the fetishism of Buñuel’s 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 Freud’s 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.
“Diary Of A Chambermaid” opens on June 10th.