House of Pleasures Reviews

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Tom Seymour
Empire Magazine
January 23, 2012
Erotically charged but overlong and untroubled by too much plotting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
January 18, 2012
... 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 | Original Score: 84/100
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
November 22, 2011
Glamorously louche.
Doris Toumarkine
Film Journal International
December 1, 2011
Strictly for art-house fans impervious to things bizarre, offensive and indulgent.
Peter Bradshaw
January 26, 2012
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 | Original Score: 1/5
Phil Coldiron
Slant Magazine
November 22, 2011
A brief history of time and space, according to Bertrand Bonello.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
February 9, 2012
It emphasizes setting over character and plot; and it casts a mood that's both eerie and entrancing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Siobhan Synnot
March 6, 2012
There's plenty of flesh on display but the stories are far from erotic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 9, 2012
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 | Original Score: 3.5/4
Clint O'Connor
Cleveland Plain Dealer
February 17, 2012
Bertrand Bonello's visually alluring glimpse of what prostitute's do during down time. Captivating at times, but it does go on.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Richard Brody
New Yorker
November 23, 2011
Among other things, a sharp corrective to such effervescent red-light classics as Max Ophüls's "Le Plaisir."
Top Critic
Jon Frosch
The Atlantic
March 7, 2012
What gives the film its haunting pull, as well as its feminist undercurrent, is the filmmaker's palpable compassion for these women.
David Jenkins
Little White Lies
January 26, 2012
Dazzling and deep. You'll want to go back for more.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
January 24, 2012
Seductive on the surface, steely underneath, this is an angry, fascinating, highly political film all wrapped up in costumed frilliness.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
November 27, 2011
The heavy candlelit chiaroscuro paints the women as mobile Renoirs, Degases and Manets.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 29, 2012
It's about forcing us to think about people we never would otherwise and seeing their struggles and humanity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times
December 15, 2011
"Pleasures" becomes as enveloping - and sometimes as awkward - as one of the L'Apollonide ladies' heaving corsets.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Jason Best
Movie Talk
May 30, 2012
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.
Philip French
Observer [UK]
January 29, 2012
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.
Tom Dawson
Total Film
January 16, 2012
We're immersed in the routines and rituals of the female prostitutes, in a world smelling of "sperm and champagne".
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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