The dawn of the XXth century: L’Apollonide, a house of tolerance, is living its last days. In this closed world, where some men fall in love and others become viciously harmful, the girls share their secrets, their fears, their joys and their pains.
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As well as utilizing it to a maximum “House of Tolerance” transcends its medium. The visual beauty is as striking as that of many Velasquez paintings. Its poetry is as profound as that of many Bunuel films. God, I love this movie!
Without taking a narrative position and showing instead of telling, this film says everything there is to say about prostitution. There's something here for everyone from the libertarian to the moral feminist. The atmosphere is like a mix of Breillat w/ certain Altman & Visconti. Great music choices. Great film.
A magnificent piece of art, with all the mysterious, aesthetical, emotional and intellectual qualities that a truly great film needs to contain for me to fully embrace it after only one viewing. One of the best films I've seen this year, and an alluring introduction to Bertrand Bonello's cinema, of which I've been a virgin up until now.
Strange piece. There seems to be a tension (or not a tension, but a subtle conflict, or a latent contrast) between a celebratory aesthetic and a somber social critique. The aesthetic has something of the decadent toulouse-lautrecian love of bohemian ways. The critique is quite subtle and refined. It's not a direct message. This is like a living painting, done in sensual strokes and colors, allowing the eyes to drift.
The sham romanticism of the 19th century will be blended with the pragmatic cynicism of the 20th in Bonello's provocative tableau vivant of a Parisian brothel. Read the film analysis at http://24fpsverite.com/review-en/lapollonide-house-tolerance-2011/