6.8/10
111
2 user 10 critic

The Receptionist (2016)

'The Receptionist' is a film based on an illegal massage parlour in London, and follows the lives of the employees and clients as seen through the eyes of a Taiwanese graduate employed as a receptionist.

Director:

Jenny Lu

Writers:

Jenny Lu, Yi-Wen Yeh
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Alleycats (2016)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

When bike courier Chris witnesses what looks like a murder, his first instinct is to cut and run. But when his curiosity draws him back in, he's soon embroiled in a world of corruption, political power, and illegal bike racing.

Director: Ian Bonhôte
Stars: Eleanor Tomlinson, John Lynch, Sam Keeley
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Madame Tang colludes and mediates between the government and the private businesses for the benefits of her all-female family. One case does not go according to plan, and an entire family ... See full summary »

Director: Ya-che Yang
Stars: Kara Wai, Ke-Xi Wu, Vicky Chen
Short | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

An astronaut moves to a riverside town in England to enjoy his retirement. His old fame stirs a little scene in the local café but when a moon conspiracy theorist visits the local town, the astronaut's career is thrown into a question.

Director: Jenny Lu
Stars: Mitchell Mullen, Pauline Carr, Catherine Day
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Pickle is a night security guard at a bronze statue factory. His colleague, Belly Bottom, works as a recycling collector during the day, and Pickle's biggest pleasure in life is flicking ... See full summary »

Director: Hsin-yao Huang
Stars: Cres Chuang, Bamboo Chu-Sheng Chen, Leon Dai
Pin Cushion (2017)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Super close Mother LYN and daughter IONA (Dafty One and Dafty Two) are excited for their new life in a new town. Determined to make a success of things after a tricky start, Iona becomes '... See full summary »

Director: Deborah Haywood
Stars: Lily Newmark, Joanna Scanlan, Loris Scarpa
Short | Biography | Comedy

A mother becomes famous on Twitter for having a terminally ill son.

Director: Andy Wooding
Stars: Keeley-Jo Jupp, David Baddiel, Helen Lederer
Gukôroku (2016)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

an investigations on murder didn't reach to any results, until a journalist discover new information that get on the trail of the criminal.

Director: Kei Ishikawa
Stars: Satoshi Tsumabuki, Hikari Mitsushima, Keisuke Koide
Northern Soul (2014)
Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Set in 1974, an authentic and uplifting tale of two friends whose horizons are opened up by the discovery of black American soul music.

Director: Elaine Constantine
Stars: Steve Coogan, Antonia Thomas, Ricky Tomlinson
Mr. Burberry (2016)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two people are passionately in love and go off on a dirty weekend in London's Hotel Café Royal.

Director: Steve McQueen
Stars: Josh Whitehouse, Amber Anderson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A dying old lady reminisces about her happier moments. Her daughter, Hui Ying, decides to move her father's grave from his hometown to beside her mother's grave. However, his first wife, ... See full summary »

Director: Sylvia Chang
Stars: Sylvia Chang, Zhuangzhuang Tian, Yueting Lang
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In Japanese-occupied Hong Kong, a school teacher and her would-be-fiancé link up with Chinese guerrilla fighters, forging their own path to freedom.

Director: Ann Hui
Stars: Xun Zhou, Eddie Peng, Wallace Huo
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

An obsessive CEO of a company meets a ragged chef by chance. They are drawn closer together because of their love for delicacies, yet their personalities clash big time.

Director: Derek Hui
Stars: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Dongyu Zhou, Yi-zhou Sun
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Josh Whitehouse ... Frank
Lorraine Stanley ... Helen
Daniel York ... Robin
Teresa Daley ... Tina
Klemens Koehring ... Estate Agent
Joseph Tremain ... Leo
Neal Ward ... Mike
Nicola Wright ... Landlady
Shiang-chyi Chen ... Sasa
Eric Colvin ... George
Edward Pinner Edward Pinner ... Josh
David Yu ... Lam
Douglas Bunn Douglas Bunn ... Police Officer
Tom Bonington ... Tim
Sheng-Chien Tsai ... Chan
Edit

Storyline

'The Receptionist' is a film based on an illegal massage parlour in London, and follows the lives of the employees and clients as seen through the eyes of a Taiwanese graduate employed as a receptionist.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK | Taiwan

Language:

English | Mandarin | Min Nan

Release Date:

23 June 2017 (Taiwan) See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A powerful debut.
5 October 2017 | by joebevan-52237See all my reviews

Tina, a young Taiwanese woman, searches for work in a London blighted by economic insecurity. Frustrated in her pursuit of a 'respectable' job, separated from her family and living in overpriced accommodation with her equally luckless boyfriend, she grudgingly takes a role as a receptionist at a massage parlour located in a rented house on a quiet suburban street. Here she becomes part of a new family, a trio of Asian women presided over by a matriarchal madam, visited by a succession of men seeking lonely comfort, money or dominance. An assured and challenging debut, the film gives an outsiders perspective of London, ironically given the radical interiority of the brothel in which most of it is set - a hidden world, where the indentured women must never let the customers see each other and have to insulate the house so that the musky reek of sex, commerce and alienation doesn't seep out to the neighbours.

This is that rare lower budgeted film which makes a genuine virtue of its limitations, creating a mise en scene that is at once squalid and strangely comforting. It uses subtle shifts in tonality to explore the complexities of its subject. Powerful drama and bleak comedy mingle with discomforting body-horror, as the prim and well-composed Tina confronts the unhygienic, squalid world of the brothel, eating her dinner at a table with women who have come straight from their last physical assignation, taking us as the audience through revulsion to understanding and sympathy. Director Jenny Lu unflinchingly depicts the subjugation and degradation inherent to prostitution whilst at the same time highlighting the oddly familial and beguilingly tender camaraderie that develops between the women in the lulls between rings on the doorbell. She also takes care to locate the brothel in a wider social context, with news of soaring unemployment and house prices appearing in news clips like reports of zombie outbreaks. Tina's boyfriend, her careers advice officer - even the thuggish toy boy of the madam - are all under economic duress, each confronting their own instability. The Receptionist depicts an irreversible de-eroticization of sex, it's reduction to a melancholy and brutal transaction by economic hardship and need. This film dexterously avoids exploitation while rigorously exploring it as a theme.

For a first time feature-film director, Jenny Lu exhibits a bracing focus and confidence, taking risks and utilizing the full range of filmic technique without ever over-stylizing or losing sight of her characters. She confidently explores the ambiguities and paradoxes of her subject, oscillating between a cool detachment and a deeply human empathy. When the film finally expands outwards, away from London, it ascends to an emotionally powerful conclusion without lapsing into sentimentality. Lu elicits brave performances from her largely female cast, who are uniformly excellent, with a special mention going to Shiang-chyi Chen as the tragic, trapped yet still defiant SaSa.

The Receptionist is a must see for anyone who still believes in the power and possibilities of film, a sobering and cliché-free portrayal of the realities and surreality of the sex trade and the debut of a talented, focused and unique directorial talent. Highly recommended.


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 2 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed