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Maison Close Season 1

Maison Close

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Maison Close Season 1

About the Series

Paris, 1871. In a high-end brothel called The Paradise, three women are attempting to escape their male-imposed bondage. Rose is a young woman, newly arrived in Paris in search of her mother, who is tricked and conscripted into service at The Paradise. Véra is a thirty-five year old courtesan who knows that the end of her career is upon her and holds out hope that a wealthy customer will pay her debt and free her from servitude. Then there’s Hortense, the owner of The Paradise, who must do whatever she can to retain her girls and keep the brothel open, all the while resisting the advances of a dangerous debt collector from out of town.

Reactions

“Addictive.”  - The Guardian

“Would make even a veteran of the 50 Shades of Grey series blush.”   -The Times (UK)

“A racy new French thriller.” - The Observer

“Brilliant. Challenging, thoughtful and above all truly entertaining. A show the HBO would be proud to have on its schedules.” - Box Office Buz

Cast & Crew

Cast

Hortense: Valerie Karsenti
Vera: Anne Charrier
Rose: Jemima West
Marguerite: Catherine Hosmalin
Gaillac: Nicolas Briançon
Angèle: Blandine Bellavoir
Bertha: Deborah Grall
Valentine: Clemence Bretecher
Jeanne: Lubna Gourion

Crew

Creator: Jacques Ouaniche
Series Producers: Jacques Ouaniche, Grégory Ouaniche, Adrian Politowski, Gilles Waterkeyn
Series Cinematography: Pierre-Yves Bastard
Series Art Direction: : Paulo Routier
Series Music: Gast Waltzing & Alain Pewzner

Technical Info

Production Year: 2010 & 2013
Countries of Production: France
Languages: French
Running Time: 16h 0m
Screen Ratio: Season 1: 16x9, Season 2: 2.35:1
Color: Yes
Rating: Not Rated

Episodes

Episode One

Paris, 1871. Vera, the star attraction of the The Paradise luxury brothel, is about to finally leave the institution to become the live-in mistress of the Baron Du Plessis. However, The Paradise owes money to a dangerous debt collector named Lupin, and its madam, Hortense Gaillac, is willing to resort to absolutely anything to keep her. Meanwhile Rose, a pretty young woman engaged to be married, arrives at The Paradise” in search of her mother and Hortense sees an opportunity to revive the business...

Episode Two

Forced into service at The Paradise, Rose manages to escape before being tracked down by the police. After one of the girls is assaulted, Véra organizes a strike in protest, causing a strain on the brothel’s finances. In response, Hortense decides to sell Rose’s chastity to the highest bidder. As things are heating up, Hortense’s despised brother, Pierre Gaillac, arrives from the colonies to take over the business.

Episode Three

Hortense’s detestable brother Pierre, recently arrived in France, quickly resolves the strike organized by the ladies of The Paradise. But the calm in the storm is only temporary. Now back to work, Rose finds herself struggling to adjust to her new life. Meanwhile, Véra notices that Angéle is wearing jewelry that had previously belonged to her late lover. Suspicious, she goes to the police to report it.

Episode Four

Hortense must defend against the machinations of Pierre, who wants to leverage the Paradise for his own gains. A police investigation is launched in response to Véra’s claims and two girls are arrested. One day, Rose finds a photo of her mother in the house archives, and it is suggested that her mother and Hortense once shared a close personal relationship.

Episode Five

Pierre continues to use The Paradise to serve his own purposes, inviting many wealthy clients on his own accord. Hortense is furious and attempts to spite him by keeping the ladies locked in their rooms. Rose, always in search of information about her mother, presses Hortense, who reveals her mother’s true identity.

Episode Six

Angéle’s fiancée, Brise Caboche, is desperate to obtain her freedom and blackmails Hortense, who has no choice but to ask her brother for money. However, he is not immediately willing to help a sister who shows public disdain for him. Meanwhile, Rose confides in Véra how she plans to escape The Paradise: seducing Pierre.

Episode Seven

Hortense wants to terminate Angéle’s pregnancy, but the other women band together to allow her to keep the baby. Believing her mother to have died at The Paradise, Rose seduces Pierre in an attempt to gain her freedom. But soon Pierre’s wife arrives at the brothel to confront her husband’s mistress, thinking it is Véra...

Episode Eight

Pierre will stop at nothing to save himself and begins to entertain the most outrageous customer requests. Hortense mounts a strong opposition, aided by Véra and Rose. Along the way, Rose finally discovers the truth about her mother…and her own past.

Maison Close Season 1 - Press Page

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Reactions

“Addictive.”  - The Guardian

“Would make even a veteran of the 50 Shades of Grey series blush.”   -The Times (UK)

“A racy new French thriller.” - The Observer

“Brilliant. Challenging, thoughtful and above all truly entertaining. A show the HBO would be proud to have on its schedules.” - Box Office Buz

Detailed Film Info

Set in a lavish 19th Century Parisian bordello, the provocative and popular French erotic drama Maison Close invites American audiences into a sumptuous, stylized world where desire and power reign.  Following the suppression of la Commune, a short-lived workers' revolutionary movement in the 1870s, a cast of gorgeous women trapped by circumstances reside in “Paradise," a top-rate "closed house" reserved for aristocratic or bourgeois clientele and known for its strange and refined practices during a time of legalized prostitution.  Hortense (Valérie Karsenti) is the ruthless and manipulative madame who runs her business with an iron fist; Véra (Anne Charrier) is the stunning star courtesan in her 30s nearing the end of her career; and country ingénue Rose (Jemima West, Mortal Bones: The City of Instruments), arrives in search of her mother, only to be blackmailed into becoming a prostitute.  By turns both erotic and political, this uncompromising, finely crafted television series is the perfect mix of style and substance, a richly compelling period drama with unmistakably modern flair that reimagines age-old themes--and the world's oldest profession--in bold new ways.

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