That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)

Luis Buñuel directs Fernando Rey, Carole Bouquet and Àngela Molina in this slightly surreal farce where a young woman prick teases an ageing lothario into submission.

It is almost as if Buñuel wanted another crack at the plot of Tristana. This is the better movie. More assured, more playful, less predictable. His conceit of casting two actresses in the lead female role is capricious but works. Whether you read it as Conchita’s duplicitous personality being literalised or Buñuel snubbing his nose at star actresses by demonstrating their dispensableness, one thing is for certain… Carole Bouquet rocks in her alternating sections. The surrealist even gets past his dated lampooning of the bourgeoisie… the framing device on the train where the middle class passengers listen in on a tale of sexist control, abuse and cuck pity with no judgement skewers them far more than “shock” imagery of the same norms dining in on loos or wearing gimp suits.


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