House of Pleasures - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

House of Pleasures Reviews

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February 14, 2016
After an unsettling start, it turns into a rather fascinating (albeit melodramatic) film.
Super Reviewer
½ December 2, 2015
A sad film about a group of prostitutes in a Parisian brothel at the end of the 19th century, with a very fluid narrative and a beautiful production design (and cinematography) that explores quite efficiently the gloomy romantic view of being a woman submissive to men and their pleasure.
March 20, 2015
Visually aesthetic and pleasing film that shows how we can understand humanity and camaraderie from anywhere. The stories of the girls is not one of pity but of struggle and living and surviving in a world that treats women as objects. The film shows that a discussion is needed when it comes to prostitution as it shows at the end of the with the way prostitution is today in its current climate. Maybe the film shows more of being an advocate of brothels with is gaiety and life and safety, though there is a risk of attack as is shown. Though the film explores the nihilism of prostitution and the girls wanting to get out for a better life, its the colours of the photography that bring it to life with its authentic looking shots and decor. A very good film
August 16, 2014
Not the sex-fest you would imagine from the title, but this French movie does depict lots of female nudity (all of it appealing in its many shapes and sizes). This brothel houses many prostitutes of varying age and beauty. The clients are mostly the same men who return night after night building hope in the ladies for a brighter future. This is depressing and overly long but it did keep my interest. The camaraderie among the ladies was a pleasure to watch.
½ February 23, 2014
Remarkable and rather unusual insight into the oldest profession and the way things have changed since about 100 years ago.
February 19, 2014
Strange, weird, thus erotic, rough, bold and brutally real. I like how all the naked women formed a rather illusive and fascinating painting than a cheap graphic downstream pornography. It is definitely a film that will make you think about the things people usually forget, because it is tough, sometimes it is easier to just forget it.
½ October 16, 2013
Fascinating look inside a brothel at the turn of the century in Paris. A little slow sometimes.
August 19, 2013
In English, titled as House of Tolerance or House of Pleasures, this film follows the lives of a handful of Parisian prostitutes at an elite brothel during the turn of the 20th century(1899-1900).

Beautiful cinematography paralleled with a modern yet somehow completely fitting score makes this film an all around aesthetically pleasing experience. There is elegance in every shot, however gruesome and disturbing the content gets.

Listed under the drama genre, however, I would not recommended this Bertrand Bonello directed film to those who are not familiar with art house cinema.
August 18, 2013
Peaked my curiosity until the very bitter end.
July 3, 2013
Interesting setting, but boring story. Drifts throughout and ultimately goes nowhere.
June 30, 2013
HOUSE OF PLEASURES is truly astonishing. This gorgeous sumptuous film brilliantly depicts prostitution as nothing short of enslavement. Director Bertrand Bonello pulls off quite a feat. He shows how prostitution in the Belle Epoque, so often glamorized in art, was actually a nightmare of brutality. He then includes brief passages of late 20th century music and split screens, to clearly comment on our current world in which prostitution continues to destroy lives. Most importantly, Bonello never makes the sex kinky or titillating. The film is gorgeous but Bonello never loses his insights. At no point would one think this world is beautiful or wonderful. He also doesn't over due the ghastliness of it all. The film is long, and it feels long, which is the key to its success. You live the lives of these women, only once leaving the bordello. In small ways we see how prostitution breaks the spirit and literally kills. A magnificent work with true depth and insight. Bravo to all involved!
Super Reviewer
May 29, 2013
Disturbing in parts but nonetheless, this look into a turn of the century brothel has compelling gals who perform the same tasks but are from so many diverse and interesting backgrounds.
May 1, 2013
Someone in this movie cries tears of cum.
April 14, 2013
Difficile d'embarquer dans l'histoire car pas d'action à suivre. Juste du voyeurisme. je vais essayer de nouveau mais
April 14, 2013
I thought it was a very well done, very deep and thoughtful, although tragic, piece. I really disliked the modern music in the beginning and throughout it, though. When I watch a period piece, I like to be able to sort of believe that I am seeing something going on in that time. Music from a totally different era is like a reminder popping up on the screen saying "THIS IS JUST MAKE BELIEVE".
March 2, 2013
Un acercamiento profundo del espectador hacia lo que fue y es el mundo de la prostitución. No es película para todo publico, pero es una bella representación estética de Francia a comienzos del siglo XX, vista a través de una casa de lenocinio y las tristes historias a su alrededor. Para quien gusta de una buena puesta en escena y una historia lenta pero descarnada.
February 5, 2013
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 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.
½ January 12, 2013
There is a need for real dramas in the bordello, I don't particularly enjoy pretty pictures
December 30, 2012
"No one, male or female, has any fun, but the men behave as if they do." -Robert Ebert
December 26, 2012
It is although way much better than thought, still not a tiny interesting piece to watch after all.
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