Maison Close: Season 1 Blu-ray
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Directed by Various (TV)
Produced in 2010
Main Language - French with English subtitles
Jemima West, Valerie Karsenti, Anne Charrier
Contemporary Drama • Contemporary Period, Costume, Historical Film • Contemporary Blu-rays • Television Drama • Period, Costume & Historical Television • Television Blu-rays • Erotica / Blu-ray • Contemporary Erotica
Set in a 19th century Parisian brothel, Maison Close is an elegant, entertaining series that sees the French excel at the typically British preserve of the period drama, writes James Oliver.
British television has taken some stick of late and here's more bad news. After Scandinavian mysteries like The Bridge and The Killing revealed just how tepid UK whodunits were, this classy French import repeats the trick with another genre at which Britons are supposed to excel: the elegant costume drama.
Set in 1871, shortly after the Paris commune, the titular 'maison' is an upmarket brothel. The series charts the fortunes of its residents: Madame Hortense, who's in debt to some serious gangsters; star-turn Véra, who blames Hortense for murdering a client who might have helped her escape the house and Rose, a young innocent who entered the house looking for her mother and now finds herself held there against her will.
For all the occasional nods towards brutal historical realism, Maison Close never forgets that it's a melodrama, and a shamelessly entertaining one at that: the plotting is compulsive, the characters conniving and the intrigues just keep on coming – everything one could want from great TV. Downton Abbey will look very limp after this.
James Oliver on 22nd August 2012
Author of 146 reviews
Taking an uncompromising look at the world of brothels and prostitution in late 19th century France, Maison Close is a sumptuously produced French drama of sex and servitude.
Paris, 1871. In Paradis, a luxury brothel, three women try to escape from their troublesome circumstances. Vera is 35 years old, the end of her career as a prostitute drawing nearer. She puts all her hopes on her main client, the only one rich enough to redeem her debt. Hortense is the Madame of Paradis. She must hold on to her girls whilst dealing with an extortionist from the Parisian suburbs. Rose, a much younger woman, arrives in search of her mother, a former prostitute. She is trapped with a pimp and forcibly conscripted into the Paradis.
Publisher: Arrow E1
Length: 422 mins
Cat No: FCD666
Format: Blu-ray Colour