Alone in a Paris theater after a long day of auditioning actresses for the lead role in his new play, writer-director Thomas (Mathieu Amalric) complains about the poor caliber of talent he has seen. As Thomas is about to leave the theater, Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner) bursts in, a whirlwind of erratic—and, it turns out, erotic—energy. When Thomas agrees, reluctantly, 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—down to buying props, reading source materials and learning every line by heart. The likeness proves to be much more than skin-deep. As the extended "audition" builds momentum, Thomas moves from attraction to obsession... Adapted from the Tony Award-winning play by David Ives.
Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
"Venus in Fur," a whip-smart dissection of gender politics via some teasing S&M, is arch. So arch in fact that it is surprising it's a Roman Polanski film.Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, 07.03.2014
Roman Polanski's been making films about psycho-sexual mind games for decades, and when his opening shot poses his stage director next to a very phallic cactus, you know he's at it again.Bob Mondello, NPR, 06.20.2014
Ever the alchemist, Roman Polanski continues his quest for the process whereby theatre is transmuted and reforged into film.Anthony Lane, New Yorker, 06.30.2014
Pay attention to the camera, and you will see that Polanski is a clinician. He is in the thrall of no one.Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle, 07.10.2014