Demy Monde: Donkey Skin

(France, 1970, 90 mins, DCP)
In French with English subtitles
CAST Catherine Deneuve, Jean Marais, Micheline Presle, Jacques Perrin, Delphine Seyrig
Classification: PG


Monarch Jean Marais (Cocteau’s star and muse) grants his dying queen Catherine Deneuve’s last request: to remarry a princess more beautiful than herself. But when the only one who fits the bill is daughter (Deneuve again), it’s ultra-chic fairy godmother Delphine Seyrig (Last Year at Marienbad) to the rescue, disguising her as malodorous scullion “Donkey Skin.” Demy’s adaptation of a 17th-century fable by Perrault was his third Michel Legrand-scored musical and his most over-the-top in stylization. It’s a charmingly perverse fairytale that will likely amuse parents at least as much as their off-spring.

"Like Demy’s other movies it’s one of a kind, at once monstrously Oedipal and charmingly infantile; Deneuve manages to be both hilarious and touching in her donkey drag." J Hoberman