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1917, the last months of legal prostitution in Storyville - New Orleans' red-light district. Hattie, a prostitute at the elegant home of Madame Nell, and her 12-year-old daughter Violet are the only ones awake with photographer Ernest J. Bellocq comes by with his camera. He takes pictures of Hattie and he fascinates Violet. Over the next few months, Nell arranges for the auction of Violet's virginity, Hattie marries and goes to St. Louis leaving Violet behind, and Violet determines to marry Bellocq. Is this idyllic or is she just a girl wearing rouge, soon to return to childhood?
- Aspect Ratio : 1.85:1
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- MPAA rating : s_medR R (Restricted)
- Product Dimensions : 7.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches; 4 Ounces
- Director : Louis Malle
- Media Format : Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
- Run time : 1 hour and 50 minutes
- Release date : November 18, 2003
- Actors : Brooke Shields, Keith Carradine, Susan Sarandon, Frances Faye, Antonio Fargas
- Subtitles: : English
- Producers : Louis Malle, Polly Platt
- Language : Unknown (Mono)
- Studio : Paramount
- ASIN : B0000AUHQ6
- Writers : Louis Malle, Polly Platt
- Number of discs : 1
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The scenes of the child in her undress were not lurid or sexually charged. Quite the opposite; they showed the child wanting to be seen sexually, wanting to be desired, but being seen for what she was, a child.
The movie was well made, beautifully filmed, but ultimately very sad.
Top reviews from other countries
The acting is excellent. In particular, Brooke Shields - who was only 12 at the time - offers a standout performance. She captures in a mesmerising way the dual role of, on the one hand, a child who wants to play and be loved and, on the other hand, someone who has become sexually objectified. Of course, presenting full nudity - in the context of this story - was a risqué undertaking. However, the film succeeds in giving us a gritty, often realistic representation of underage prostitution (and the abuse it involves). I do think that the directing is slightly below par, and this is my only major criticism of the film. Occasionally the camera is out of focus, and there are times when the image lingers for too long on an uninteresting scene. Additionally, this is a film without a score or soundtrack - and the decision to not include music results in a certain amateurish quality.
So long as you're aware that this is a serious, character-driven movie involving nudity and depictions of prostitution, produced on a relatively low budget, it's a film I can recommend.
Brook Shields really shines as the young girl who falls into prostitution during the nineteen twenties I do believe it's set in, although I could be wrong, and she ends up befriending a local photographer, but their relationship soon falls apart. That's all I really want to say about the story, you can see it for yourself, but this is well worth a look, if only for I must say a particularly brave and impressive Brooke Shields, who as a child star which she quite clearly is in this, knowing the film she was doing, performs above and beyond the call of duty.
It is an amusing film as well as having a serious side. Very much sex for sale by the ladies and some indication to the types of men clients that frequent the place. A good performance by Keith Carradine who plays the role of a photographer whose interests are in capturing photos of the ladies of pleasure especially young Violet (Brooke Shields) and her mother (Susan Saradon) The story is set in 1917.
The film has a controversial theme child prostitution and its interpretation by the director and entire cast is outstanding.
I have no dislikes of the film but this is one for adults only.