One of the last films ever directed by Spain's prolific auteur filmmaker Luis Bunuel, Tristana follows a similar vein as That Obscure Object of Desire in its portrayal of an older man pursuing a younger woman, but this time all sympathy goes to the fairer sex. Played by Catherine Deneuve, the titular protagonist deals her elder caretaker, played by Fernando Rey, whose obligations to provide for her and carnal desires to consume her drive her into the arms of another man. Deneuve plays her part beautifully in the game of lecherous cat and youthful mouse and for all of Rey's charisma and charm, the darker side of humanity shines through and creates the disturbing relationship that sets Tristana apart from other films like it.
Entrusted to the care of Mr. Lope (Rey) after her mother's death, Tristana (Deneuve) finds an uncomfortable home in his luxurious estate. However, the paternal care of Mr. Lope quickly perverts to something much more intimate and it's a kind of attention Tristana wants no part of, so she strikes out of her own only to have tragedy and age force her back into his clutches. It's an end result that ultimately seems to be what Mr. Lope wanted, but he soon discovers his laissez-faire attitude makes his wish to have Tristana all for himself a virtual impossibility. By the time he can get his way, she's far from the young woman he once leered at all those years before.
It's worth noting this cut of the film has the final few seconds shaved off. Whether it was done in favor of unnecessary brevity or it was just a mistake, this also isn't the first release to have done so. It's just unfortunate this Blu-ray release was taken from a copy that made a similar mistake.
Blu-ray Bonus Features
The disc includes an audio commentary by Deneuve and film critic Kent Jones, a visual essay featurette on the film, and an alternate ending.
"Tristana" is on sale March 12, 2013 and is rated PG. Drama. Directed by Luis Bunuel. Written by Julio Alejandro, Luis Bunuel. Starring Catherine Deneuve, Fernando Rey.