When I was 12 I saw for the first time a naked woman on screen. I was instantly full of excitement and also shame. The excitement I understand was natural but the shame was a result of my strictly religious parents. Luis Bunuel's drama about eroticism understands both these sides of sexual emotions and explores them through the mind of our protagonist. Belle de Jour isn't her real name but it's what she wants to be called. She loves sex. She feels empowered by it. We learn that sex and love are not the same thing for her. She loves her husband but when she has sex she wants it to be about sex - not love. It's the reason why she won't let him touch her. We also learn that she secretly desires him to force himself on her. Bunuel explores both the conscious and subconscious impulses that drive Belle De Jour's needs. We experience her sexual daydreams, which she has often enough to begin confusing the audience. It's not an overstatement to say that Catherine Deneuve's performance is why this film is outstanding. Her often blank unassuming expression has inspired many female protagonists. But it's the moments where she's happiest that really make you fall in love with her. Watching her explore her sexual fantasies, while hiding from her husband, brought me the same excitement and shame as when I was 12. Not because of nudity, but because this perspective of sexuality is to me both beautiful and wicked. Right and wrong.