Beautifully shot and subtly rendered, but too slowly told for its ambiguities to really be effective. Violet (Brooke Shields) lives with her mother, Hattie (Susan Sarandon), a prostitute in 1917 New Orleans. Her touching innocence seems unaffected even when, at the age of twelve, her
virginity is auctioned off for the princely sum of $400. After leaving the brothel to live for a while with photographer E.J. Bellocq (a real-life figure), Violet is eventually reunited with her mother, who has escaped the brothel for a more "respectable" life on the outside.
The strength of Malle's film lies in its simultaneous presentation of two viewpoints: that of Violet, whose ...