Life in an elegant Parisian brothel in the early twentieth century. The madam essentially owns the women: their expenses exceed earnings, they are in debt. They face problems of pregnancy, ... See full summary »
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Life in an elegant Parisian brothel in the early twentieth century. The madam essentially owns the women: their expenses exceed earnings, they are in debt. They face problems of pregnancy, opium, age, and violent clients. One reads sociology at her peril. Occasionally, a client talks of marriage. There are also friendships and affection among the women. The madam is in a dispute with her landlord and calls on influential clients to help. There's a picnic one summer day, a wake, and an evening in masks. Have they expectations? In a coda, we watch a street scene in contemporary Paris. Written by
I loved this film, I am surprised to see more than one review damning the film for a lack of plot. There is most definitely a plot it's subtle and thoughtful but the characters all have an arc and, for some, very definite resolutions.
The cast are superb, even those with the smallest roles present fully rounded individuals of whom it's possible to infer their lives outside the bounded world presented to us. The relationships between the women of the house both amongst themselves and with their clients are rich and true.
Although full of sex and sexuality nothing is gratuitous or titillating but real and honest. Sometimes good, sometimes dreadful, sometimes funny, sometimes a violation.
This was a film that I would have been happy to watch for another two hours , I didn't want to leave these women behind.
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