Screen Time: 75%
Age: 12 years old
Directed: Louis Malle
Genre: Coming of Age, Drama
Violet (Shields) is the daughter of a prostitute (Susan Sarandon) who works at one of the brothels in New Orleans' legendary red-light district, Storyville. One day photographer Ernest Bellocq (Keith Carradine) arrives at the brothel to take photos of the prostitutes and becomes fascinated with Violet, who is fast approaching her 12th birthday and a subsequent initiation into prostitution.
When her mother moves to St. Louis in search of marriage and respectability, Violet determines to marry the much older Bellocq. Malle infuses the potentially lurid subject matter with a lyrical beauty that brings humanity to his characters and story, with the assistance of a sensitive script by Polly Platt and superb cinematography by Sven Nykvist.
Highly controversial due to dealing with child prostitution and showing naked 12-year-old Brooke. Pretty but detached. Poor acting from Brooke.
Reviewed by Dale on
October 30, 2005 on youngactressreviews (opens in a new window)
Very disturbing reality break. Child prostitution was prevalent in North America well into the early 20th century. This gives a good insight into demise of many children during this period. We were totally devoid of child protection agencies. Although many narrow minded artistically challenged people will label this movie as child pornography it is not. There is no suggestion of condoning or promoting of such. Louis Malle used a combination of shock and graphically disturbing scenes to get his message across. To have censored this movie would have been a throw back to the dark ages for artistic freedom. Although the acting leaves something to be desired it is a must watch for those wanting to see a dramatization of the hopelessness of the lives of children in the early Southern States.