6.7/10
5,665
24 user 99 critic

House of Tolerance (2011)

L'Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close) (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 25 November 2011 (USA)
At an elegant Parisian bordello at the dawn of the 20th century, exists a cloistered world of pleasure, pain, hope, rivalries, and most of all, slavery.

Director:

Bertrand Bonello

Writer:

Bertrand Bonello (scenario)

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

4 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Jacques Laurent made pornographic films in the 1970s and '80s, but had put that aside for 20 years. His artistic ideas, born of the '60s counter-culture, had elevated the entire genre. ... See full summary »

Director: Bertrand Bonello
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Jérémie Renier, Dominique Blanc
Tiresia (2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Tiresia is at the same time woman and man, according to Greek Mythology. Here, Tiresia is a Brazilian transexual living with her brother in the outskirts of Paris. Terranova, an admirer of ... See full summary »

Director: Bertrand Bonello
Stars: Laurent Lucas, Clara Choveaux, Thiago Telès
On War (2008)
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

After a freak accident, Burt finds himself locked in a coffin overnight. After surviving the ordeal, he decides to live his life purely for pleasure, but ultimately he finds himself in a ... See full summary »

Director: Bertrand Bonello
Stars: Mathieu Amalric, Asia Argento, Guillaume Depardieu
Nocturama (2016)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Some young folks, tired of the society they're living in, plan a bomb attack over Paris before taking shelter for a night in a shopping center.

Director: Bertrand Bonello
Stars: Finnegan Oldfield, Vincent Rottiers, Hamza Meziani
Saint Laurent (2014)
Biography | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Yves Saint Laurent's life from 1967 to 1976, during which time the famed fashion designer was at the peak of his career.

Director: Bertrand Bonello
Stars: Gaspard Ulliel, Jérémie Renier, Louis Garrel
Water Lilies (2007)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After meeting at a local pool over their summer break, a love triangle forms between three adolescent girls, which proves difficult to sustain as they each desire the love of another.

Director: Céline Sciamma
Stars: Pauline Acquart, Louise Blachère, Adèle Haenel
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In southern France, a Franco-Arabic shipyard worker along with his partner's daughter pursues his dream of opening a restaurant.

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Stars: Habib Boufares, Hafsia Herzi, Farida Benkhetache
Zombi Child (2019)
Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Haiti, 1962. A man is brought back from the dead to work in the hell of sugar cane plantations. 55 years later, a Haitian teenager tells her friends her family secret - not suspecting that ... See full summary »

Director: Bertrand Bonello
Stars: Louise Labeque, Wislanda Louimat, Katiana Milfort
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.7/10 X  

Following the death of her husband in an accident, young Amel tries to find some consolation in photography. She takes photos of strangers from the street, looking at men as they tend to do towards women.

Director: Mehdi Ben Attia
Stars: Hafsia Herzi, Raouf Ben Amor, Haythem Achour
Suzanne I (2013)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The story of a family and a love affair told through the journey of a young woman called Suzanne.

Director: Katell Quillévéré
Stars: Sara Forestier, François Damiens, Adèle Haenel
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Between his friends and the family business, Arnaud's summer looks set to be a peaceful one. Peaceful until he runs into Madeleine, as beautiful as she is brusque, a concrete block of ... See full summary »

Director: Thomas Cailley
Stars: Adèle Haenel, Kévin Azaïs, Antoine Laurent
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A French adaptation of the second (and much less well-known) version of D.H. Lawrence's erotic tale.

Director: Pascale Ferran
Stars: Marina Hands, Jean-Louis Coulloc'h, Hippolyte Girardot
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Noémie Lvovsky ... Marie-France
Hafsia Herzi ... Samira
Céline Sallette ... Clotilde
Jasmine Trinca ... Julie
Adèle Haenel ... Léa
Alice Barnole Alice Barnole ... Madeleine
Iliana Zabeth ... Pauline
Pauline Jacquard Pauline Jacquard
Judith Lou Lévy Judith Lou Lévy ... (as Judith Lou Levy)
Anaïs Thomas Anaïs Thomas
Maia Sandoz Maia Sandoz ... (as Maïa Sandoz)
Joanna Grudzinska Joanna Grudzinska
Esther Garrel
Xavier Beauvois
Louis-Do de Lencquesaing
Edit

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

Taglines:

An Aesthetic Shock.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

25 November 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

House of Tolerance See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

EUR4,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,766, 27 November 2011

Gross USA:

$19,327

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,389,920
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

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 #2.23 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Nights In White Satin
Written by Justin Hayward
Performed by The Moody Blues
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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
24 April 2012 | by moviexclusiveSee all my reviews

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.

  • www.moviexclusive.com


21 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 24 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed