Seen today Beauties remains a problematic work, a compelling and offensive movie that invites viewers to laugh at some of the most troubling subjects. . . . There’s a thin line between inspiring fascination and inspiring sympathy, and Wertmüller toes it throughout the film. In its ambiguity, Beauties asks viewers to consider whether the will to live trumps morality. There's no easy answer to that question, which is one reason why Wertmüller's film continues to stir debate.
Wertmüller's critical stock, down for years, may be going back up. Look at her vivid colors and camera angles, her thrilling deployment of ichard n and music, her rhythmic cutting and the way she moves the camera. SEVEN BEAUTIES still has great brio and power. Drenched in pessimism and irony even as it strikes a blow for the life force and against authority, it's a true emblem of the '70s.
Sex becomes a transaction and eroticism dies, especially as this sex act is, also once again, unblinking in its coverage of the pair’s entwined bodies. The image of such a deal being consummated is ultimately the greatest claim that Wertmüller makes in Seven Beauties: that nothing, whether sex, racism, violence, or politics, can be neatly disentangled from the other, because to talk about, or to show, one is to invoke them all.