The Crimson Petal and the White

The Crimson Petal and the White

DVD - 2012
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In 1870s London, a prostitute known as Sugar sees a potential way out of the brothel she works for when she is taken in by William Rackham, the son of a wealthy businessman.

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p
Palomino
Feb 10, 2019

Oh, that poor horse! You might want to skip the first five or ten minutes. I've made it through two full episodes and I'm going to skip the rest of it because I am afraid they will have sex again and I don't want to watch any more of that either. Yuck.

b
BookEMonster
Jan 03, 2019

So I haven't read the book, didn't realise it was based on a book when I checked it out, but as far as the movie goes it was very good. Basically it's Jane Eyre if Nancy from Oliver Twist were the protagonist.
However, despite the films attempts to be authentic and portray this from a woman's POV, it's very male, and very modern. I feel like the author and screenwriter read very dry academic statistics of the time period, and fiction books also written by men, but no real research. Warning- some spoilers. First of all, no way would Sugar have continued to go by the name "Sugar" as a kept woman or a governess. And a prostitute would have had an extremely difficult time entering society, regardless of how intelligent and well read she was. No member of the household would have failed to recognize her lack of education, even if she'd been doing the brothel's books, spoke French, and played the piano. Her skin would have given her away, especially her hands. And I find it almost impossible to believe that she would have helped Agnes or taken Sophia. Like Memoirs of Geisha and Pretty Woman, these are American men's fairy tales.
The most stunning line of dialogue, and the most realistic, was spoken by Madame Castaway to Sugar: "Remember that game we used to play when you were small? When it was very cold I'd come and pull the blanket off you when you were sleeping. I'd say 'that's what God do. That's what God do.' "

j
jimg2000
Oct 11, 2018

The beginning of the film reminded me very much of the 2001 book "Slammerkin, by Emma Donoghue." This mini-series is adapted from Michel Faber's 2002 novel "The Crimson Petal and the White."
A love story and relationships mainly of three characters:
-worldly young prostitute Sugar
-heir to a perfume business William
-doll-like Agnes

Per wiki:
"Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal" is a sonnet poem written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It was first published in 1847, in The Princess: A Medley.

(Towards the end of the sonnet is the relevant excerpt and quoted near the start of the final episode - see "Quotes")

t
Thumper1
Sep 27, 2018

I have seen this movie three times and each time I appreciate it more. The early part of the film showing prostitutes living in Victorian squalor is overshadowed by the story line after Sugar moves into William's house. There are surprises to come, as Sugar takes an active role in trying to set right the injustices she sees in William's upper class house. Her character expands by showing such love and empathy for those she could have despised, given her early upbringing. The last scene in the film made me nervous as I kept thinking that any second, a policeman was going to come up and nab her. I will watch this film again and again.

n
NancyLDraper
Sep 15, 2018

I'm so glad I was not dissuaded by the brutality and raw portrayals that set the scene for this series. Once the moral and physical decay is established, this story soars on the courage and ingenuity of our heroine using all her wit and intelligence to survive in a world controlled by the baser nature of men. Masterfully played by Romola Garai, we quickly become invested in this woman who becomes an angel for those who are trapped by and in their lives. Chris O'Dowd, Amanda Hale, Mark Gatiss, Shirley Henderson and Gillian Anderson are just some of the stellar supporting cast. The production brilliantly captures the mood through its costumes and sets. The original work was a novel by Michel Faber which Lucinda Coxon skillfully adapts to the small screen. A dark and disturbing portrayal of the vices and decay of Victorian London, Chris O'Dowd put it best, "It is a wonderful love story which is almost entirely be bereft of love". I give this series an 8 (great) out of 10. [Victorian Drama]

f
firefly5
Jan 29, 2018

I usually like period movies, but this one bored me very early on. Did not watch.

a
ausnos
Sep 19, 2017

I have mixed feelings about this movie, and I have not read the book so what happened in these 2 discs was completely new to me. Having said that, I appreciated the chemistry that I saw in the characters, however subtle or large. My favourite character is Sugar, mainly because I love women with red hair like that, but because there was so much going on with her character. I found myself cheering her on the entire way, and at one point I was actually cheering on William. Near the end of the movie, however, I changed my view on some of the characters but I still admire Sugar. As for the other elements, I have to say that I was impressed. I love the costumes and how Victorian London was depicted, too. The only thing that I did not like was the ending and some parts throughout the movie.

c
Courier2003
Nov 26, 2016

See my summary*******

r
Renada_B
Sep 18, 2016

Loved the acting, the clothes, the victorian decor and the storyline. Great movie.

j
Janice21383
Sep 09, 2016

Our story begins in 1874, a few years after the death of Charles Dickens. But don't expect Dickens here, either in depth or in much of the content. Crimson Petal is avowedly what the great Victorian authors had to leave out of their books (though many had hard, direct experience), but what tentatively raised its head in the works of "sensational" authors like Wilkie Collins. The producers understand their material, and don't take it quite, quite seriously. As long as you don't, either, and can handle some historical inaccuracies that stem from the book, you will have an amusing time. The actors are all smashing, especially Chris O'Dowd, a young man with a great capacity for middle age.

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Quotes

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j
jimg2000
Oct 12, 2018

This programme contains scenes of a sexual nature. London, 1874. Keep your wits about you. This city is vast, and intricate, and you do not know your way around. You imagine, from other stories you've read, that you know it well. But those stories flattered you. You are an alien from another
time and place altogether. You don't even know what hour it is, do you? Nor do most where you're going. Here people go to sleep as soon as the gin takes effect. You've allowed yourself to be led astray and there's no hope
of finding your way back.
===
My hand is yours for a shillin', sir, and any other part for two.
-Please, cover yourself up. Your body parts are not yours to sell. They belong together, and the whole belongs to God.
My 'ole belongs to anyone that's got two shillings, sir.
===
You know, of course, of Mrs Fox's efforts in the, erm... in the darkest recesses of the city?
===
I'm going to hunt them down and kill them.
===
No-one'll know I ever lived.

j
jimg2000
Oct 12, 2018

First conversation between William and Suger P1 of 2:

Good evening, Mr...
-Hunt. With an aitch. Er, George Hunt.
And you are...?
Sugar is all there is to my name, Mr Hunt.
-Sugar.
I do hope you haven't been waiting too long with the Three Witches for company.
-The Three Witc... That's Macbeth.
You must forgive my appearance. This foul weather plays havoc with my hair.
-Oh, mine too! I had it cut. It was supposed to look like Matthew Arnold.
It doesn't. Be thankful. I think he's rather overrated, but I'm sure you know much better than I.
-No! I agree. Absolutely. Give me Ruskin, any day!
If it is Mr Ruskin's prose you're referring to, then I quite concur.

j
jimg2000
Oct 12, 2018

First conversation between William and Suger P2 of 2:

Spare me his poetry. In verse he's a major minor. Tennyson's latest work, pure whimsy.
-It's whimsy, it's whi...whimsical.
It's... There is a poet, James Thompson.
-James Thompson?
Yes, James Thompson, who in his latest work is truly...breaking new ground.
-The City of Dreadful Night?
You know it?
-The world rolls round for ever like a mill. It grinds out life and death and good and ill. It has no purpose, heart, nor mind, nor will.
These are dark notions for a beautiful young woman to take to heart.
-My life can be dark sometimes.
Kindred spirits, like yourself, are difficult to find. Your lips are like feathers.

j
jimg2000
Oct 12, 2018

Who's Jesus?
-He died for our sins.
Evidently unsuccessfully, since we're all still paying.
===
Watch your dress. You don't want to spoil it.
-A lot of trouble you go to for clothes that only stay on five minutes.
===
ladies. I would be honoured to preserve your image for all time!
-For all time? No, thank you. Go on.
Why not?
-I'd rather not spend an indefinite future being passed from hand to hand by strangers.
===
I begin to wonder if she even exists.
-The most intriguing reputation.
They say she never disappoints.
===
Committed! ..would cause you personal pain and social embarrassment.
-But I have seen other men wrestle with the same decision and, believe me, once they have made it, they are relieved beyond words.
===
'The most intriguing reputation. They say she never disappoints. SUGAR: The jewel in Castaway's crown. Sugar. Pay for cotton, but lie in silk. Beg, borrow or steal to buy my services. Seek me out at the Fireside Inn.'

j
jimg2000
Oct 12, 2018

After all these years. Lord knows I tried hard enough to be rid of you once. No brew so toxic I didn't inflict it upon myself, no bath so scalding I didn't immerse myself in it. Hah! You were indestructible!
-Let's hope I remain so.
===
Only a madwoman would willingly let her health decline...
-I am not a madwoman!
Which is why I ask permission, rather than obliging you as I would an asylum inmate.
===
Who understands better than I the connection between commerce and art?
On which subject, I've been thinking about this Rackham's catalogue. "Lavender foot balm." "Are malodorous feet your Achilles' heel?"
===
A couple of my friends produced it, it's called The Efficacy of Prayer. "Bodley and Ashwell."

===
Your men work on the Sabbath? As do I! Not enough hours in the day, Henry. Did you know that there's an octave in perfume as there is in music?
===
..what will you pay Sugar?
- I will pay her whatever makes her happy.

j
jimg2000
Oct 12, 2018

We are so easily seduced.
-Are we?
Just last week, I was on my way home from visiting a particularly wretched family. I was tired, discouraged, and I didn't want to walk. And before I knew what I was doing, I was in the underground railway, speeding through the earth, mindless of anything except my own pleasure. And all at the cost of a sixpence.
-Goodness.
I enjoyed it so much, I missed my stop. This is how the world will end, Henry. The Antichrist is our own desires.
===

-I am already a martyr to headaches! As we speak, I'm prey to a terrible throbbing.
But there is no need for you to suffer as you do. Here, look... On bad days, I take a couple of these... with a dose of Godfrey's Cordial. Ask your pharmacist. Your doctor would give you a lecture on them... but trust me - you will hardly know yourself.

j
jimg2000
Oct 12, 2018

Do you miss him?
-I don't miss HIM. I miss the world that comes with him.
===
I sit here tormented knowing each day that passes one more woman sinks into a life of unbridled vice.
===
We who have uninterrupted health must be thankful for our good fortune.
===
How do you feel now, dear?
-Like a lost bonnet floating along a dark river.
===
Not everyone can wear white.
-No, indeed, Mrs Rackham. You have to be very thin.
-- Do you think she ever eats?
===
No harm in getting soft, Sugar. We all would, given half a chance.
===
She knows better than most the, the cruelty of petty social stigma.
-Don't underestimate your own allure, William.
She is a modern aristocrat, not afraid to associate herself with those who have dealings with people in trade. I admire her for that.

j
jimg2000
Oct 12, 2018

Agnes lost a child?
-No, we have a child.
You have?
-Yes. A daughter, unfortunately.
== =
He dresses it up as spiritual poppycock, of course, but the fact is that Henry's on heat and too priggish to admit it.
-So how did you advise him?
I simply told him that the feelings he had for Mrs Fox bared all the hallmarks of infatuation and they would simply run their course. What enthrals us today may simply have no hold tomorrow.
====
Oh, er, when, if you don't mind, Caroline, did you lose your virtue?
-Age 16. To my husband.
To your husband? Ah, well then you did not lose your virtue. So you must have left him, then, or been cast out?
- He died, sir. Then my little boy followed close behind.
I am deeply sorry. So, that is when you fell into this way of being?
-I didn't fall, I was pushed. Owed the doctor for the child's medicine. He arranged my start in the profession.

j
jimg2000
Oct 12, 2018

There is no marriage in heaven, Henry. Mark 12:25.
(Context: When the dead rise, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven.)
===
I'm sick of being judged by fools who have no idea how the world works, who have the luxury of a clear conscience because I pay for it on a dirty, daily basis!
===
It is as if... As if she wants something more from me.
-It's not surprising.
I ask myself over and over and over what is it she thinks I can give her?
-Are you serious?
I have prayed for guidance, night and day!
-For pity's sake, Henry! She wants you to give her a good seeing to! She wants you to give her a good fxcking, Henry!
===
You don't believe in angels, do you?
-No, I don't.
You don't believe in anything except William Rackham.
===
Mrs Fox, I am not worthy.
-Oh, but you are...
No! My feelings for you leave me in no doubt I am not cut out to be a clergyman.

j
jimg2000
Oct 12, 2018

Partially quoted in E3:

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat
By Edward Lear
I
The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea-green boat,
They took some honey, and plenty of money,
Wrapped up in a five-pound note.
The Owl looked up to the stars above,
And sang to a small guitar,
"O lovely Pussy! O Pussy, my love,
What a beautiful Pussy you are,
You are,
You are!
What a beautiful Pussy you are!"

II
Pussy said to the Owl, "You elegant fowl!
How charmingly sweet you sing!
O let us be married! too long we have tarried:
But what shall we do for a ring?"
They sailed away, for a year and a day,
To the land where the Bong-Tree grows
And there in a wood a Piggy-wig stood
With a ring at the end of his nose,
His nose,
His nose,
With a ring at the end of his nose.

III
"Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
...

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Notices

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a
ausnos
Sep 19, 2017

Sexual Content: Lots of sex and prostitution, and some nudity.

a
ausnos
Sep 19, 2017

Violence: People get beat up or injure themselves.

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a
ausnos
Sep 19, 2017

ausnos thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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c
Courier2003
Nov 26, 2016

Was the male lead a doctor? His mentayl ill wife did not get the care she needed as well as the adolescent daughter until the prostitute moved in. Plot was hard to follow. Ending left me wondering the outcome. Did we need 2 disc's to tell this story?

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