House of Pleasures (2011)
Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 5
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 13
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 1
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 2,177
In this lush, atmospheric look at the final days of an elegant, turn-of-the-century brothel, we go inside the cloistered walls of L'Apollonide to meet the Madam (Noemie Lvovsky), her elite clientele, and some dozen "girls" - veterans and newcomers, romantics and cynics, schemers and innocents. Upending the period drama with split screens, time shifts and a modern soundtrack, this is a provocative and beautiful film about the world's oldest profession - and an exploration of how the past is
Nov 25, 2011 Limited
Mar 13, 2012
Independent Pictures - Official Site
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Nothing in this film comes as a surprise, but Bonello's intent to show the place backstage as well as onstage is fulfilled and pertinent, even though the period setting gives the picture a curio air.
It's about forcing us to think about people we never would otherwise and seeing their struggles and humanity.
What gives the film its haunting pull, as well as its feminist undercurrent, is the filmmaker's palpable compassion for these women.
It emphasizes setting over character and plot; and it casts a mood that's both eerie and entrancing.
Seductive on the surface, steely underneath, this is an angry, fascinating, highly political film all wrapped up in costumed frilliness.
Bonello is more interested in the women's relationships with each other than with their rich clients, though we do get to see them living out some of their patrons' kinky desires.
Bertrand Bonello's visually alluring glimpse of what prostitute's do during down time. Captivating at times, but it does go on.
The film is superbly designed to suggest the oppressive, hypocritical haut-bourgeois decor, the obsessive eroticism that excludes real desire, and the languorous timelessness that makes one day like another.
We watch with various degrees of either fascination or boredom as the girls go about their work wondering how long it or they will last.
Bertrand Bonello's atmospheric, poetic film seduces you with all the skill and subtlety of the courtesans it depicts.
... the movie drips with silk and velvet; you can very nearly smell the leather and perfume... But there's another story in the hollow eyes of the assembled courtesans, the palpable air of hopelessness that pervades this pretty, airless film.
We're immersed in the routines and rituals of the female prostitutes, in a world smelling of "sperm and champagne".
Audience Reviews for House of Pleasures
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