Premiering at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, Ninja Thyberg’s Pleasure––which follows an aspiring porn star’s odyssey through the adult film industry in LA––was initially picked up by A24, who planned to release both an edited, R-rated version and an uncensored version. Those discussions didn’t go as planned and last fall, Neon acquired the rights to the film, which will now only get a release in its uncensored form. “I’m happy and relieved that my debut and life’s work is in the hands of Neon who dare to launch the film with my original vision, raw and uncut, to the American audience,” said Thyberg. Now, ahead of a May release, the first trailer has arrived.
Shayna Warner said in their Sundance review, “Pleasure is, in its bones, a classic tale of the corrupting allure of fame. A young starlet-to-be arrives in Hollywood, becomes both entranced and envious of the successful veteran, signs her soul away to become the morally corrupt person she was warned about, and eventually realizes her mistake in thinking pure success would bring her happiness. In Swedish director Ninja Thyberg’s impeccably cast drama, the archetypal aspiring celebrity is Bella Cherry (spectacular first-time actor Sofia Kappel) a nineteen-year-old Swede who moves to the US in search of porn stardom. Though Bella is a newcomer, she understands the game, if not its specific rules, and is soon taking on bigger, better, and more harrowing challenges in a meteoric rise to top and be topped. While the intelligently shot and performed porn epic begins promisingly, its overwhelming heterosexuality, predictable beats, and rushed third act result in a middling conclusion that has few truly new thoughts about the industry it portrays. “
See the red band and green band trailers below and read our interview with the director here.
Pleasure opens on May 13.