Venus in Fur


Venus in Fur

Critics Consensus

Provocative, funny, and brilliantly acted, Venus in Fur finds Roman Polanski in top late-period form.



Total Count: 112


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,236
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Movie Info

Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway play by David Ives, which itself was based on Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's groundbreaking novella, VENUS IN FUR is the latest film from master filmmaker Roman Polanski. Alone in a Paris theater after a long day of auditioning actresses for his new play, writer-director Thomas (Amalric) complains that no actress he's seen has what it takes to play the lead female character: a woman who enters into an agreement with her male counterpart to dominate him as her slave. Thomas is about to leave the theater when actress Vanda (Seigner) bursts in, a whirlwind of erratic - and, it turns out, erotic - energy. At first she seems to embody everything Thomas has been lamenting. She is pushy, foul-mouthed, desperate and ill-prepared - or so it seems. When Thomas finally, reluctantly, agrees to let her try out for the part, he is stunned and captivated by her transformation. Not only is Vanda a perfect fit (even sharing the character's name), but she apparently has researched the role exhaustively, learned her lines by heart and even bought her own props. The likeness proves to be much more than skin-deep. As the extended "audition" builds momentum, Thomas moves from attraction to obsession until, with Vanda taking an ever more dominant role, the balance of power shifts completely. (C) IFC

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Critic Reviews for Venus in Fur

All Critics (112) | Top Critics (30)

Audience Reviews for Venus in Fur

  • Apr 03, 2016
    What I found interesting is when Thomas talks about how people cannot detach themselves from name-tagging art with broad social implications, and that this play should only be viewed simply as a piece of art and not a statement. He is soon enlightened by the power of the art form and subsequently punished for his assumptions. It is dark, quite funny, and not unlike an evolution of Polanski's Bitter Moon -- where he's introduced Emmanuelle Seigner to another very powerful role.
    Hayden B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 19, 2014
    A darkly erotic film about an actress auditioning for a role in a play, based on the classic novel by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. The play is being directed by the playwright who, in the opening scene complains loudly to someone on the phone that he cannot find anyone right for the part. In walks Vanda and what ensues is a cat and mouse game as Vanda slowly takes control of the audition, the play, and eventually, the playwright himself. Only the two actors ever appear on screen, but the interplay is electrically charged as we watch Thomas give up control to Vanda. I was fascinated to watch it unfold. By the end, the viewer is left questioning just what happened.
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • Aug 08, 2014
    Polanski's adaptation of Ives' stage play Venus in Fur offered a unique cinematographic milestone. The play takes on a different approach to the classic novella by focusing on the actress who auditions for the role and the lead and the director who is desperate to find an actress. Unlike his usual minimalist setting, this film embodied the lavishing glory of French theatre but only using two actors. The film was funny, the running time was perfectly planned, each minute was great, you don't feel bored or dragged at all. The character development was the greatest part, it's interesting to see Venus in Fur actually manifested the characters. If you like Polanski, you'd like his latest addition to his filmography.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2014
    Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Seigner top-flight acting.
    hawk l Super Reviewer

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