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Film / The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

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"I can't remember my lines."

The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Le Charme discret de la bourgeoisie) is a 1972 surrealist comedy film directed by Luis Buñuel. The plot is sort-of built around a group of middle-class people attempting to simply go to dinner together, with all kinds of strangeness getting in their way. It won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

As usual, you can find the basics at The Other Wiki and at IMDB.


"The Discreet Tropes of the Bourgeoisie":

  • The Aggressive Drug Dealer: Some of the men may be involved in cocaine trafficking.
  • The Alcoholic: Florence
  • Badass Preacher: A bishop goes to bless a dying man who he discovers was responsible for killing the bishop's parents. The bishop blesses him...and blows him away with a shotgun.
  • Banana Republic: The Republic of Miranda, represented by a female Western Terrorist.
  • Clucking Funny: The roast chickens turn out to be props.
  • Dinner and a Show: At one point, the "dinner" is revealed to be a stage play, which produces the page quote.
  • Dream Within a Dream: There are several dream sequences, as the film is deliberately not logical.
  • Gallows Humor: After the guests are brutally gunned down, one who escaped being killed tries to sneak food from the table he's hiding under, blowing his cover. The assassin shoots the table, looks under, and sees the guest eating the food as he helplessly looks up at him. He gets gunned down too.
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  • The Immodest Orgasm: Right when the Senechals are going to make love, they hear their guests arriving downstairs. Alice says that the guests can wait five minutes, but her husband tells her that they can't make them wait because, "You scream too loud."
  • Mind Screw: Yes, for both the viewers and the characters.
  • Police Brutality: "You can't just arrest people like this."
  • Spiritual Successor: Similarities to Bunuel's own The Exterminating Angel are totally deliberate.
  • Surreal Humor: Of course. This is Buñuel, after all.
  • Take That!: The film is an attack on the Bourgeoisie's hypocrisy, corruption and sense of entitlement.
  • You Killed My Father: A soldier poisons the man who he had thought was his father after the ghost of his mother tells him that that man killed the man who actually was his father.


Example of: