“Venus in Fur” is the latest film from master filmmaker Roman Polanski based on the Tony Award-winning play by David Ives, which itself was based on Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s revolutionary novel. Read on for Movie News Guide’s (MNG) “Venus in Fur” synopsis and movie review.
“Venus in Fur” Synopsis:
The plot revolves around Thomas who is a writer-director of a new play. Alone in a Parisian theater after a tiring day of auditioning actresses for the leading lady Wanda von Dunayev, Thomas complains on the phone for not getting up to the mark performances by all the actresses. He was about to leave the theater when an actress named Vanda enters. In a gust of energy and uncontrolled aggression, Vanda persuades Thomas to consider her for the lead role. To Thomas’s bewilderment, Vanda displays deep understanding of the character. She even knows every line by heart. As the audition moves forward, the passion intensifies and the attraction of Thomas turns into obsession.
“Venus in Fur” Movie Review:
Critical reception has been positive so far. The author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s name inspired the word “masochism.” The novel “Venus in Furs” is about masochism that literally means the affinity to obtain sexual satisfaction from one’s own throbbing or mortification. Polanski’s expert execution and Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric’s brilliant performances are worth watching.
It has comedy mixed with squirming sexual role-play, devoted to the theme of male mistrust. Polanski begins with boom in a Paris street then settles for two hours of squirming power play, devoted to the theme of male mistrust. He is burst upon by frenzied actress, and she convinces the incredulous Thomas to be the perfect fit for the role and progressively seduces him with her feat.
Amalric’s character Thomas is bested at every turn by Seigner’s swanky and contemptuous character Vanda.
This is an amusing prance, expressing gender bias in the world beyond the stage. Seigner has done full justice to a challenging role.
“‘Venus in Fur’ finds Roman Polanski transferring a New York stage hit to the screen with maximum fidelity and facility, and a minimum of fuss,” reviewed top critic Scott Foundas of Variety. He added that the movie is a “playful and literate rumination on the fine line between passion and perversity, pleasure and pain, life and art” for sensitive intellectual audiences.
Polanski’s screen version of this Broadway play is “wittily adapted and tempestuously performed by Amalric and Seigner,” as written by David Hughes in Empire.
The film is a “playful jeu d’esprit on sexual role-play, illusion and reality, and directing as a sexual act,” said Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian.
“This is a fun piece of play-acting for as long as it lasts, but it never quite feels like much more,” said Robbie Collin in the Daily Telegraph.
Starring: Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric
Runtime: 1 hr. 36 min.
Genre(s): Drama, Comedy
Directed By: Roman Polanski
Written By: David Ives
In Theaters: Jun 20, 2014 Limited
Original Title: “La Venus a la fourrure”
IFC Films: Official Site
According to movieinsider.com, “Venus in Fur” will be released on June 20, 2014 in theaters.
Critical reception has been very positive so far. The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) reported that “Venus in Fur” received three and half stars out of four. Its ratings are 7.2/10 from 3,848 users.
As of this writing, Rotten Tomatoes has given the film a rating of 7/10 or 97% in its Tomatometer, based on 29 critics’ reviews. Meanwhile, 73% of the audience reportedly want to watch it, based on 1653 user ratings. Metacritic has given “Venus in Fur” a metascore of 66/100 after surveying 10 critics’ reviews.
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Georges Biard