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L'Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close)
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House of Tolerance (2011) More at IMDbPro »L'Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close) (original title)

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House of Tolerance -- A highly cinematic and atmospheric look at the final days of a turn of the century brothel when much of the Parisian sex trade was confined to grand maisons, populated by elegant madams and vetted clientele and Xavier Beauvois.


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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Bertrand Bonello (scenario)
View company contact information for House of Tolerance on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 November 2011 (USA) See more »
Life in an elegant Parisian brothel in the early twentieth century. The madam essentially owns the women: their expenses exceed earnings... See more » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
4 wins & 13 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
An unusually thoughtful and sobering look at the lives of a group of women trapped in the trade of satisfying men's sexual desires See more (24 total) »


  (in credits order)

Directed by
Bertrand Bonello 
Writing credits
Bertrand Bonello (scenario)

Produced by
Bertrand Bonello .... producer
Serge Hayat .... Equity Provider
Kristina Larsen .... producer
Original Music by
Bertrand Bonello 
Cinematography by
Josée Deshaies 
Film Editing by
Fabrice Rouaud 
Casting by
Richard Rousseau 
Production Design by
Alain Guffroy 
Costume Design by
Anaïs Romand 
Makeup Department
Charlotte Berland .... hair stylist
David Carvalho-Nunes .... hair stylist
Stéphane Chauvet .... special effects makeup (as Stephane Chauvet)
Michel Delarue .... makeup artist
Fabrice Herbet .... special effects makeup
Jean-Luc Hovens .... hair stylist
Rachel Levieux .... hair stylist
Madeleine Rolland .... makeup artist
Milou Sanner .... hair stylist
Nathalie Tabareau .... makeup artist (as Natali Tarabeau-Vieuille)
Rose-Edmonde Tacail .... hair stylist
Laure Talazac .... makeup supervisor
Patrice Thibault .... makeup artist
Jérôme Ventura .... makeup artist (as Jerome Ventura)
Ferouz Zaafour .... key hair stylist
Production Management
Aude Cathelin .... production manager
Christina Crassaris .... post-production supervisor
Capucine Grelardon .... assistant unit manager
Sandra Marinier .... assistant production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Elsa Amiel .... first assistant director
Clément Comet .... second assistant director
Mathieu Laemlé .... location scout
Art Department
François Criqui .... ripper
Charlotte Filler .... assistant decorator
Virginie Le Romain .... assistant art director
Virginie Le Romain .... property buyer
Nicolas Romand .... swing gang
Christine Teulier .... property master
Catherine Werner Schmit .... set dresser (as Catherine Werner-Schmidt)
Sound Department
Renaud Bajeux .... sound trainee
Aude Baudasse .... sound edit assistant
Jean-Pierre Duret .... sound recordist
Dominique Eyraud .... boom operator
Vincent Gregorio .... sound assistant
Jean-Pierre Laforce .... sound re-recording mixer
Nicolas Moreau .... sound editor
Philippe Penot .... foley artist
Benjamin Viau .... foley recordist
Visual Effects by
Béatrice Bauwens .... visual effects producer
Sophie Denize .... visual effects producer
Henri Deruer .... visual effects artist
Cédric Fayolle .... visual effects supervisor
Sabine Lineres .... digital compositor
Sergeï Lourié .... senior digital compositor
Camera and Electrical Department
Loïc Andrieu .... steadicam operator
Carole Bethuel .... still photographer
François Gallou .... electrician
Stéphane Gallou .... grip
Catherine Georges .... first assistant camera
Gaston Grandin .... key grip
Marianne Lamour .... gaffer
Romain Marcel .... second assistant camera
Ahmed Zaoui .... grip
Casting Department
Joanna Grudzinska .... casting associate
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Danielle Boutard .... chief costume maker (as Daniele Boutard)
Nadège Bulfay .... additional dresser (as Nadege Bulfay)
Lucie Durand .... additional dresser
Sarah Fischer .... additional dresser
Emilie Fourrier .... costumier
Anu Gould .... dresser
Marion Gouti .... additional dresser
Daphné Husson .... costumier (as Daphne Husson)
Chloe Jauffrineau .... dresser
Lina Jsem .... costumier
Que Hiang Jsem .... costumier
Anne-Cécile Le Quere .... costumier (as Anne Cecile De Quere)
Lorenzo Mancianti .... jewelry creator
Eiko Okamura .... costumier
Ava Ortlieb .... additional dresser
Pryscille Pulisciano .... dresser
Silver Sentimenti .... costumier
Tifenn Tautou .... costumier
Editorial Department
David Magalhaes .... telecine dailies colorist
Guillaume Saignol .... assistant editor
Elif Uluengin .... assistant editor
Other crew
Marguerite Blank .... production administrator
Barbara Canale .... script supervisor
Thierry Desjours .... financial manager
Charles-Edouard Renault .... legal counsel
Marie Sonne-Jensen .... assistant to producer
Fabrice Touze .... production administrator
Christophe Jeauffroy .... thanks

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"L'Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close)" - France (original title)
"House of Pleasures" - USA (DVD title)
See more »
122 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

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 »
Factual errors: 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 »
Movie Connections:
The Right To Love YouSee more »


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16 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
An unusually thoughtful and sobering look at the lives of a group of women trapped in the trade of satisfying men's sexual desires, 24 April 2012
Author: moviexclusive from Singapore

No matter the titillating title, writer/director Bertrand Bonello's 'House of Pleasures' doesn't hope to pleasure its audience by pandering to their baser instincts through a flesh parade of its predominantly female cast. Instead, Bonello mounts a sombre look at the daily lives and routines of the prostitutes within the walls of the Appolonide, an upmarket Paris brothel for middle-class men at the turn of the 19th century. The pace is slow and languid- consider this fair warning for less patient viewers- but if you allow it, the movie will reel you in with its hypnotic charm and leave you wondering about the people behind the world's oldest profession.

Filmed with a deliberate dispassion throughout, Bonello flits from one character to another, never making one the central figure in the movie. Among those we get to recognise are Clotilde (Celine Sallette), a twelve-year veteran of the trade at just 28 years old who has recently grown increasingly disillusioned and dependent on opium; Pauline (Iliana Zabeth), the youngest at just 16 who enters the trade in a misguided attempt at asserting her own independence; and the middle-aged Madam (Noémie Lvovsky) who runs the house faced with foreclosure due to rising rent prices.

Yes, Appolonide is far from a cocoon for the girls, and Bonello places two stark characters as a sobering reminder of that- the first in the form of a cheerful girl Julie (Jasmine Trinca) who discovers one day during a routine medical examination that she has syphilis; and the second in Madeleine (Alice Barnole), who is permanently disfigured when a client (Laurent Lacotte) she dreams of having a future with ties her to the bed and slashes her from both corners of the mouth. Madeleine is the most blatant Bonello gets at eliciting his audience's empathy for these women- and certainly, it's hard not to be moved when she is nicknamed 'The Woman Who Laughs' and becomes no more than an object of fascination for others to gawk at.

Notwithstanding Madeleine's misfortune, there is little to cheer about for any of the other girls trapped with little hope of escaping their circumstance. Though visited by regulars with sweet words and buoyant promises, there is little illusion that none of these men are serious about their affections for the ladies they frequent, using them as mere vessels to act out their fantasies- one girl is made to act like a mechanical doll; while another is dressed in a kimono and asked to speak Japanese even though she knows not the language. We know better than to believe their lies and empty promises, but who can blame some of the ladies for being optimistic- what else after all do they have to live for?

Setting most of the film within the four walls of the Appolonide and emphasising the day in and day our rituals of the women within adds to the claustrophobic feel of the movie, which of course reinforces the cheerless nature of their situation- there is also a reference to the conventional wisdom of the day, which equates their status to that of criminals by virtue of the size of their heads. The rare scene where the girls have the most fun is a daytime excursion they take to the countryside, which unsurprisingly shows them at their most lively and vivacious.

And indeed, there is very little to cheer or find pleasure in- despite the movie's title- once one has observed the lives of these women in the Appolonide. The film is also purposefully set at the twilight of the industry in that form, and from time to time, Bonello hints at the imminent passing of a Parisian cultural icon. His parting shot is that of modern-day Paris, where prostitutes are standing by the street waiting for some random guy in a car to pick them up. Has society progressed in the past century? As long as there remain women who are stuck in the circumstance as those in the Appolonide, the answer quite honestly is a sobering no.


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