“Strickland’s latest reconfigures the vintage erotic melodrama into something altogether deeper and darker. Taking its title from a rare species of butterfly, The Duke of Burgundy chronicles the increasingly intimate relationship between wealthy amateur lepidopterist Cynthia and her newly hired housekeeper Evelyn. As Cynthia’s demands begin to betray a sadomasochistic streak, Evelyn becomes less a domestic servant than an outright sex slave, submitting to her progressively extreme humiliations with a surprising relish. Strickland demonstrates a marvelous gift for modulating tone, pitching the tenor of his film in a strange, beguiling register somewhere between Buñuel’s Belle de Jour and Losey’s The Servant. By turns kinky, dryly comic, and compellingly surreal, and boasting gorgeous, gothic cinematography . . . a richly immersive sensory experience.”—Toronto Film Festival.