Plot: An actress (Emmanuelle Seigner) talks her way into an audition that is both late and not scheduled to be at. Soon, she and the director (Quantum of Solace’s Mathieu Amalric) are acting out the script as the play becomes less of a story and more of a reality.
Venus in Fur stars Seigner as Vanda and Amalric as Thomas, the director. Thomas has auditioned dozens of young actresses for his play, each of them dressed inappropriately and unable to read lines convincingly. Just as he is ready to give up, Vanda arrives, soaked from the rain, and begs for the chance to audition. One thing leads to another and Vanda gets her chance.
Vanda inexplicably has a copy of the script and her ability to read with genuine ability draws Thomas in. Since there is no one left to read with her, Thomas jumps in and reads the other part. We watch as they go from actress and director to a complete role reversal where Vonda becomes the one in power.
At one point, you start to wonder if they are even acting anymore. It becomes hard to distinguish whether they are part of the play or if it has all become a reality. What results is a battle of the sexes, with Vonda working to prove that women can hold all of the power if the man is willing to submit.
Emmanuelle Seigner was in her late 40’s when she filmed this but was incredibly and surprisingly sexy. They could have easily cast a young actress in the role but Venus in Fur shows that older women can be sexy too.
I find it mildly strange that director Roman Polanski chose an older woman as his lead in a sexy role. Given his past, one might have expected a younger lead instead of a 47 year old woman. Then again, maybe it was done intentionally to prove to the world that his tastes are more mature than people think.
I will admit that I haven’t seen many Polanski films since Rosemary’s Baby. That being said, I have a strong desire to see anything else he has made after watching Venus in Fur. If he can pull off a film of this caliber with just a stage setting and some lighting, I would love to see what he can do with more.
Venus in Fur is a well-executed and entertaining film about the balance of power between a man and a woman. You will laugh, you will be uncomfortable and you will enjoy yourself. I recommend picking up a copy or catching it on Netflix when available.
Rating: 8 out of 10
<em>Ann Hale is the horror editor for Pop-Break.com and a senior contributing writer, reviewing horror movies and television shows. She is also the American Correspondent for Lovehorror.co.uk. Ann attended East Carolina University, majoring in English Literature. She is a collector of Halloween (the film) memorabilia and is a self-admitted opinionated horror nerd. You can follow her, her collection and her cat, Edward Kittyhands on Twitter and Instagram @Scarletjupiter
var zergnet = document.createElement(‘script’);
zergnet.src = ‘http://www.zergnet.com/zerg.js?id=24932’;
var znscr = document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’);