Writer of O
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
Published in Paris in 1954, 'The Story of O' was an immediate bestseller and literary scandal: an elegantly written S&M fantasy that had all the hallmarks of being an autobiographical account by the pseudonymous Pauline Reage. In 1994, Dominique Aury, a mild-mannered, dowdy editor for France's prestigious Gallimard press, revealed her authorship. Pola Rapaport explores Aury's inspiration, recreating the world of '50s literary Paris and setting it against dramatic sequences that bring the infamous book to life. The author as well as various French intellectuals expound on… More

Available Online

Buy & Rent
Buy SD $9.99 Rent SD $2.99
- -
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