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House of Tolerance (2011)
"L'Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close)" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  25 November 2011 (USA)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 3,717 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 22 user | 91 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

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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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Alice Barnole ...
Iliana Zabeth ...
Pauline Jacquard
Anaïs Thomas
Maia Sandoz ...
(as Maïa Sandoz)
Joanna Grudzinska
Esther Garrel
Louis-Do de Lencquesaing
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 November 2011 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

House of Pleasures  »

Box Office

Budget:

€4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,766 (USA) (18 November 2011)

Gross:

$19,327 (USA) (16 December 2011)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The casting says "Clotilde" but her name is misspelled (as "Clothilde", rather a common error in France) in the movie when we see the lines of name/debt written by the matron. See more »

Goofs

A character says he's been to the inauguration ceremony of the Paris Metro. After that there is a scene where we hear fireworks for Bastille Day (14 July). The opening of the Paris Metro (Line 1) was on 19 July 1900, five days after Bastille Day. See more »

Connections

Featured in Ebert Presents: At the Movies: Episode #2.24 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Sa Muguette
by Hector Pellerin
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User Reviews

 
"Compassionate declaration of love to women and cinema..."
24 March 2012 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

French screenwriter and director 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, Clotilde 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 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 its brilliant set decoration by Alain Guffroy, costume design by Anaïs Romand and the picturesque cinematography by Josée Deshaies, this is a low-keyed, melancholic, symbolic, darkly romantic and dreamlike tale of a descending utopia.

The efficient score by Bertrand Bonello emphasizes the mysterious and poignant atmosphere in this grotesque, tangible and fictional chamber piece, which is impelled and reinforced by the understated acting performances from a cast consisting of both professional and non-professional actors and actresses such as French actress Hafsia Herzi, French actress Céline Sallette, Italian actress Jasmine Trinca, French actress Adèle Haenel, French actress Esther Garrel, French actress, screenwriter and director Noémie Lvovsky, French actor, screenwriter and director Xavier Beauvois and Alice Barnole and Iliana Zabeth in their debut feature film roles. A compassionate declaration of love to women and cinema, which was screened in competition at the 64th Cannes Film Festival in 2011 and which gained the César Award for Best Costume Design Anaïs Romand at the 37th César Awards in 2012.


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