Writer of O
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In 1954, one of the most notorious erotic novels of the 20th century was published -- The Story of O by Pauline Reage, which chronicled in breathless detail the intense sadomasochistic relationship between a submissive woman and a dominant man. For many years, many believed that Pauline Reage was a pseudonym for a male author, but as it turns out that was only half true. In 1994, journalist John de St. Jorre, while researching a book on Olympia Press (the fearless French publisher who first published the book) learned that Pauline Reage was in fact Dominique Aury, a well-respected and… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The real reason to see this slight but interesting documentary is to watch and listen to the radiant Aury."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"A dry compendium of talking-head interviews interspersed with lackadaisical dramatizations of scenes from the novel."
‑ Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter
"Rapaport intersperses her reflections and those of people who knew her with dramatizations."
‑ Rex Roberts, Film Journal International
"Touching and sentimental."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"The interviews are marvelous. The luminous Aury is beautiful and charming at 90, and her matter-of factness blows away the mist of ideology that swirls around her 'little book.'"
‑ Jessica Bryce Young, Orlando Weekly
"[Aury] provides this talking-heads documentary with most of its vitality."
‑ John Hartl, Seattle Times
"It is a mash note from first-time filmmaker Pola Rapaport to Aury, but its attempts to dramatize passages of the book are at odds with Aury's advice that Story of O was a piece of writing 'not meant to be spoken.'"
‑ Jami Bernard, New York Daily News
"An illuminating examination of censorship and sexuality."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"[Rapaport's] slim but informative documentary combines interviews, archival footage and elegantly lurid enactments."
‑ Maitland McDonagh, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"The information is now stale news and the style of the documentary seems intentionally dry."
‑ Mark R. Leeper, rec.arts.movies.reviews
"Because it doesn't have the heroic impact the filmmaker seems to have been looking for, she's forced to juggle, to diminishing returns. In the process, she raises more questions than she resolves."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"The mystery of sex is dwarfed by the mystery of what French intellectuals are talking about."
‑ Kyle Smith, New York Post
"Haunting and ultimately profound."
‑ William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Had 'Writer of O' featured more of the engaging aged Dominique Aury and less pseudo-literary and -psychological speculation, it would have been on surer footing."
‑ Donald J. Levit, ReelTalk Movie Reviews
More reviews for Writer of O on Rotten Tomatoes