I admired this movie for its depth. Rather than sensationalizing a bordello as just sex, it gave a rather clear and honest depiction of what happened, from the highs, to the lows, to the mundane, to the horrible, in high end, turn of the century madame run brothels of a certain class. I found the m...read moreain characters developed well and the oddities (the modern music, etc.) interesting...if you were looking for just a sexy film, this isn't it. The women are beautiful yes, and often naked, but it's more about their stories than sex. French director and screenwriter Bertrand Bonello's fifth feature film which he also wrote, scored and co-produced with Kristina Larsen is a French production. It tells the story of numerous prostitutes living and working at a Parisian brothel run by Madame Marie-France near the end of the 19th century. Most of the women who lives at the mansion get' along fine with their customers and one of them is evolving a relationship with a regular customer. Clotilde, known as the Jewess, shares her dreams with this man and one night after having been away for two weeks, he returns to the house of tolerance. Clotilde tells the man of a dream she has had about him and plays along to fulfill his desires, but during the session he cut's her with a knife. Following the horrific incident, Clothilde is left with a disfigured face, loses many of her customers and is given the name, the woman who laughs. Subtly and acutely directed by Bertrand Bonello, this visually distinct interior period drama which is seen and narrated from the point of view of the prostitutes, draws a detailed, involving and intimate portrayal of their ritualistic lives at a brothel, during the twilight and the dawn of the 20th century in Paris, France. With a stringent narrative structure and while depicting several minor studies of character, this finely paced, somewhat surreal and historic study of prostitution presents a closed world marked by socializing, boredom, decadence, sadness and fantasies, where the women shares their experiences with each other, and creates a reverent depiction of their strong and private unification. Notable for it's brilliant set decoration by Alain Guffroy, costume design by Anaïs Romand and the picturesque cinematography by Joseé Deshaies, this is a low-keyed, melancholic, symbolic, darkly romantic and dreamlike tale of a descending utopia.