• Unrated, 2 hr. 5 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Bertrand Bonello
    In Theaters:
    Nov 25, 2011 Limited
    On DVD:
    Mar 13, 2012
  • Independent Pictures


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House of Pleasures Reviews

Page 1 of 2
Tom Seymour
Empire Magazine

Erotically charged but overlong and untroubled by too much plotting.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 2/5

January 23, 2012
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

... 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.

Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Original Score: 84/100

January 18, 2012
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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Glamorously louche.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

November 22, 2011
Doris Toumarkine
Film Journal International

Strictly for art-house fans impervious to things bizarre, offensive and indulgent.

Full Review Source: Film Journal International

December 1, 2011
Peter Bradshaw

Here to prove that misogyny never quite goes out of style in the cinema, French director Bertrand Bonello presents this wearisome, questionable spectacle.

Full Review Source: Guardian | Original Score: 1/5

January 26, 2012
Phil Coldiron
Slant Magazine

A brief history of time and space, according to Bertrand Bonello.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 4/4

November 22, 2011
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
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It emphasizes setting over character and plot; and it casts a mood that's both eerie and entrancing.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Original Score: 3/4

February 9, 2012
Siobhan Synnot

There's plenty of flesh on display but the stories are far from erotic.

Full Review Source: Scotsman | Original Score: 3/5

March 6, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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No one, male or female, has any fun, but the men behave as if they do. They are all half-stupefied by the languor in which they drown.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

February 9, 2012
Clint O'Connor
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Bertrand Bonello's visually alluring glimpse of what prostitute's do during down time. Captivating at times, but it does go on.

Full Review Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer | Original Score: B

February 17, 2012
Richard Brody
New Yorker
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Among other things, a sharp corrective to such effervescent red-light classics as Max Ophüls's "Le Plaisir."

Full Review Source: New Yorker

November 23, 2011
Jon Frosch
The Atlantic
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What gives the film its haunting pull, as well as its feminist undercurrent, is the filmmaker's palpable compassion for these women.

Full Review Source: The Atlantic

March 7, 2012
David Jenkins
Little White Lies

Dazzling and deep. You'll want to go back for more.

Full Review Source: Little White Lies | Original Score: 4/5

January 26, 2012
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
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Seductive on the surface, steely underneath, this is an angry, fascinating, highly political film all wrapped up in costumed frilliness.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

January 24, 2012
Stephen Holden
New York Times
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The heavy candlelit chiaroscuro paints the women as mobile Renoirs, Degases and Manets.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3/5

November 27, 2011
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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It's about forcing us to think about people we never would otherwise and seeing their struggles and humanity.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

March 29, 2012
Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times
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"Pleasures" becomes as enveloping - and sometimes as awkward - as one of the L'Apollonide ladies' heaving corsets.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

December 15, 2011
Jason Best
Movie Talk

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.

Full Review Source: Movie Talk

May 30, 2012
Philip French
Observer [UK]

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.

Full Review Source: Observer [UK]

January 29, 2012
Tom Dawson
Total Film

We're immersed in the routines and rituals of the female prostitutes, in a world smelling of "sperm and champagne".

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 4/5

January 16, 2012
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