Chabrol's career is often seen as moving from the naturalism of his early films to the extreme stylisation of his great mid-period. It's not as simple as that, but in 'Les Bonnes Femmes', Chabrol achieves a balance between the two that he has rarely equalled. The story of four shopgirls, their work and social lives, has all the plotless and poignant banality of realism, while the closing third, with its move from Paris to the country, its seducer-cum-motorbike-riding-devil (reg. no.: 666) talking about the Creator, as little schoolboys called Balthasar pass by; and its closing vision of Hell/Purgatory bespeak a more Cocteau-like world of mythology and religion. But there is Cocteau too in the framing of Jacqueline in the shop window, while Chabrol's filming of treacherous nature later on is uncommonly vivid. Although 'Bonnes' is his least typical film, it is also his most lovable, and seems to get richer with the years.