The second screen version of Octave Mirbeau's novel (originally filmed in 1946 by Jean Renoir), Diary of a Chambermaid charts the ambitions of Celestine (Jeanne Moreau), a woman who comes to work in the 1930s for a Normandy estate occupied by Monsieur Rabour (Jean Ozenne), his daughter (Francoise Lugagne), and the daughter's husband, Monsieur Montiel (Michel Piccoli). Celestine quickly learns that M. Rabour is a more or less harmless boot fetishist, his daughter a frigid woman more concerned with the family furnishings than in returning the affections of her husband, who, in turn, can't keep his hands off the servants. The gamekeeper, Joseph (Georges Geret), is a fascist who keeps his masters informed of all the doings downstairs, and the next-door neighbor (Daniel Ivernel) is a veteran who can't stand Monteil and is sharing a bed with his housekeeper. Celestine picks her way through this minefield carefully, spurning the advances of all of the men until it's convenient for her.
by Tom Wiener synopsis