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

Opening

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House of Pleasures Reviews

Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
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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.

Full Review Source: The New Republic

June 19, 2013
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
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It's a gorgeously filmed portrait of a bygone era, with painstaking attention to period detail.

Full Review Source: New York Post

November 25, 2011
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
David Fear
Time Out New York
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Erratic, occasionally WTF hilarious...

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

November 22, 2011
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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Glamorously louche.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

November 22, 2011
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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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 Source: AV Club | Original Score: A-

September 10, 2011
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