|VENUS IN FUR (LA VENUS A LA FOURRURE) (director/writer: Roman Polanski; screenwriter: play by David Ives/David Ives; cinematographer: Pawel Edelman; editors: Margot Meynier/ Hervé de Luze; music: Alexandre Desplat; cast: Emmanuelle Seigner (Vanda), Mathieu Amalric (Thomas); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Robert Benmussa/Alain Sarde; IFC Filmsundance Selects; 2013-France-in French with English subtitles)|
|"It's an actor's pic, and they
both come through with grand performances."
by Dennis Schwartz
Polanski ("Chinatown"/"Knife in the
adapts American playwright David Ives' Tony
Award-winning 2010 Broadway play. Ives
co-writes the script with Polanski. The play was based
on Austrian writer Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s
1870 "Venus in Furs."
stage director Thomas (Mathieu Amalric)
is alone in a Paris theater after an unsuccessful
afternoon of auditioning actresses for the lead part
for his set in 1870 play Venus in Fur. It's about a
woman who makes an agreement with her male lead to
dominate him as a slave. Before Thomas leaves, the
actress Vanda (Emmanuelle
Seigner, the director's wife)
bursts in and insists on auditioning
despite being late, not being sophisticated and not on
the invited audition list. Vanda is pushy, crude and
seemingly unprepared for such a choice part. But when
she forces her way to read for the part, with Thomas
reading the male part, she seems to be a good fit. In
fact, she seems to be exactly like the character she's
playing. Thomas is attracted to Vanda, and the balance
of power completely changes during the reading.
psycho-sexual mind game drama conducted in a
claustrophobic space, whose teasing poses titillate
rather than shock and entertain rather than enlighten.
It's an actor's pic, and they both come through with
grand performances. Unfortunately the dialogue became
repetitive and the pic failed to sustain my interest
REVIEWED ON 12/8/2014 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ