House of Pleasures Reviews

Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
June 19, 2013
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.
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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
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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.
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
November 25, 2011
It's a gorgeously filmed portrait of a bygone era, with painstaking attention to period detail.
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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."
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David Fear
Time Out
November 22, 2011
Erratic, occasionally WTF hilarious...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
November 22, 2011
Glamorously louche.
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
September 10, 2011
Without soft-pedaling it-the story of "The Girl Who Laughs" alone will brush away that line of criticism-Bonello nonetheless mourns the extinction of the brothel, where the women at least had each other.
Full Review | Original Score: A-