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The Story of O: Untold Pleasures (2002)

Unrated | | Drama | 11 October 2002 (USA)
"O" is a talented photographer in her late twenties with a promising career ahead of her. She is torn, however, between the tasks financial realities are forcing upon her and between her ... See full summary »

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(novel) (as Pauline Reage), (additional dialogue) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Danielle Ciardi ... O
... Sir Stephen
Max Parrish ... Rene
... Jacqueline
... Natalie
... Valet
Ned Goodwin ... Chauffeur
Niki Pervine ... The Maid
... Beautiful Young Maid
Stephen Bradstreet ... Middle-Aged Man
Nadejda Klein ... Mother
Rachel Lewis ... Woman in Restaurant
... Tennis Student
John Hayner ... Waiter
... Natalie's Boyfriend
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Storyline

"O" is a talented photographer in her late twenties with a promising career ahead of her. She is torn, however, between the tasks financial realities are forcing upon her and between her own artistic aims. Encouraged by her boyfriend, Rene, "O" decides that she should pursue her artistic passion without reservation, setting aside financial realities until she has completed her very beautiful, avant-garde book of original photos. In hopes of enabling "O" to focus her energies on the book, Rene introduces her to a mysterious benefactor, the wealthy and powerful Sir Stephen. What starts out as a promising arrangement, turns out to be self-destructive for "O". She allows outside influences to corrupt her artistic vision, as she is drawn into a seductive world of deceit, power, and eroticism. Written by Phil Leirness

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Plot Keywords:

woman | sex | based on novel | See All (3) »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

11 October 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Story of 'O'  »

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Connections

Version of L'histoire de Richard O. (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A tawdry, sanitized effort that doesn't come close to the meaning of Reage's book.
14 May 2012 | by See all my reviews

When the Just Jaeckin film version of Story of O came out in 1975, many reviewers criticized Corrine Cléry for being a wimpy O. And they were right, she was. But now there's Story of O: Untold Pleasures. You want a wimpy O? Let me introduce you to Danielle Ciardi.

This version of the classic story of sexual submission pulls its punches so often you wonder why it was even made. Let's get clear right off the bat that there is a lot of nudity in the movie: pretty, naked women all over the place, no disappointments there. The Award of Merit in this regard goes to Ciardi's backside. You just don't see 'em like that very often. The problem is with the film's conception of O. She is supposed to give herself completely to Rene and then Sir Stephen to do with her as they please. That's the whole sexual fantasy the story speaks to. Except in Danielle's portrayal, she gets deep into submission when she is at the château, but as soon as she goes home, it's "OK, whatever." She keeps going back and forth between, "I'm yours. Take me," and, "Are you kidding? Why would I want to do that?" O has to buy into the fantasy, the commitment to subservience, for the viewer to buy into it as well. Ciardi never gets us to that point. One begins to wonder why Sir Stephen, played by the talented Neil Dickson, after all her vacillating even wants to give her the time of day.

As for the château, in the Jaeckin version, when O doesn't obey, she gets her ass whipped, hard, from here to sunrise. She even gets her ass whipped for no reason at all, which is actually the best reason there is. In this version, O objects and they say, "Oh, OK." Good grief. Oh, yeah. The whipping in this move? Lame beyond belief.

O (and I guess we have to blame the director for her confused portrayal, not Ciardi) has the gravitas of someone who just doesn't get sex. There is no sense of lust, of craving, of submission, of yielding herself to the moment. She treats sex with as much heat as if she were stringing beads at summer camp, and with about that much maturity. The gap between her front teeth and her school-girl bob don't help much to create the look of a sexual creature, either.

Again, there's lots of nudity, but none of it smolders. There's no fantasy world to get lost in, which this kind of story should provide to you. The only people who should see SoO: Untold Pleasures are completists who want to say they have seen all the film versions of the O story. A check mark on their list is the only thing they'll get out if this one. If you're looking for a turn-on, this movie ain't it.


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