A young Swedish woman (Kappel) arrives in Los Angeles with dreams of fame as a porn actress, but not much clue how she’ll get there beyond her own drive and instinct. Branding herself Bella Cherry, her initiation is swift, if slightly awkward. Soon enough, her positive work ethic and fresh, innocent look help her advance, but is Bella going too far, too fast? Along the way, she becomes friendly with her roommate Joy (Morrison), who’s less ambitious and less careful, eventually causing problems. Will Bella become — and remain — a star?
Writer/director Nyberg’s unflinching film about one young woman’s experience in the porn world is a surprisingly nuanced portrayal of an industry we may turn away from but that’s not going away. To Nyberg’s credit, “Pleasure” is neither a standard cautionary tale nor a blunt indictment of what is admittedly a seamy, exploitative business. The director’s goal is simply to show it as it is. In fact, beyond the astonishing Kappel (in her first acting role), most of the cast are porn professionals. Though the phrase “not for all tastes” should be underlined for this graphic, often disturbing NC-17 feature, for those who are game “Pleasure” really hits home.