Lea Seydoux is having a pretty good time right now, hanging out with James Bond in the new movie Spectre. But before we have a chance to see her running around next to Daniel Craig, we can see her in Benoît Jacquot’s new adaptation of the Octave Mirbeau novel, The Diary of a Chambermaid.
The film features Seydoux as the titular chambermaid Celestine, who joins a new household and becomes the object of lust for her older employer…much to the chagrin of her mistress. The maid is aware of the seductive power she wields, but winds up caught in the power struggles going on within the marriage and the household.
The Diary of a Chambermaid has already seen two adaptations, one by French auteur Jean Renoir, and the other by master surrealist Luis Bunuel. The latter is among the better known of the two, taking the novel’s themes of sex, fetishization, class, and power to a logical (and very bizarre) extent. That film starred Jeanne Moreau in the lead role, so now the question becomes: can Lea Seydoux fill those very formidable shoes?
Based on the recent international trailer for the film, the most one can say is: maybe. Jacquot’s version of The Diary of a Chambermaid premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and looks much more conventional than Bunuel’s take on the novel. Although my French is not comprehensive, the actors are certainly attractive and the images beautiful. Jacquot does have an interesting camera eye and often grapples with similar sexual themes (see: Farewell, My Queen). Hopefully the film will be as good as it looks.
The Diary of a Chambermaid has no U.S. release date as yet, though it does have a distributor in Cohen Media Group. It will hit French cinemas on April 1, and hopefully U.S. ones sometime after.