Venus in Fur

Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Kerry Lengel
    Jul 11, 2014
    60
    The performances are certainly compelling.
  2. Reviewed by: John Bleasdale
    May 30, 2014
    60
    At its very best his Venus in Fur is a clever and often comical two-hander, with Amalric and Seigner both giving tour de force performances.
  3. Reviewed by: David Hughes
    May 26, 2014
    60
    Polanski’s unavoidably stagy adaptation of David Ives’ celebrated Broadway play is an enjoyably witty two-hander, confined to its theatre setting, yet with much to say about gender roles in the world beyond.
  4. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    May 27, 2013
    60
    This is a fun piece of play-acting for as long as it lasts, but it never quite feels like much more. Things may become kinky in front of the lens, but you can sense Polanski lurking behind it throughout, always ready with his safe-word. Cut!
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 27, 2013
    60
    Venus In Fur is a playful if occasionally heavy-handed jeu d'ésprit on the subject of sexual role-play, the games we all play, illusion and reality, and directing as a sexual act.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jul 5, 2014
    58
    The film has a creepy allure but, as movies featuring full-bore sexual gamesmanship often do, it wears thin.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe McGovern
    Jun 19, 2014
    58
    What is surprising is how little Polanski juices the material with his usual devilish touch.
  8. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Aug 14, 2014
    50
    The exploration of gender politics grows tedious as the gender dynamic between the two leads reverses, and the same points are hammered home again and again.
  9. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jun 20, 2014
    50
    Too bad it isn't a wickeder, subtler, more imaginative movie.
  10. Reviewed by: Jessica Kiang
    May 27, 2013
    50
    With the themes of this play not exactly subtle or delicate, particularly at the climax, it all becomes a bit grating -- inescapable in its heavy-handedness.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Aug 28, 2014
    4
    Thomas, played by Mathieu Amalric, is a play writer who cannot find a good director to direct his plays. Hence, he decides to direct his ownThomas, played by Mathieu Amalric, is a play writer who cannot find a good director to direct his plays. Hence, he decides to direct his own play but he becomes frustrated when none of the auditioned actresses is capable of pulling out the main role. Sitting alone late at night in a theater, a new actress, Vanda, played by Emmanuelle Seigner, walks in as he is about to close and leave. Vanda seems to have no idea what the script is about and is old for the role but Thomas auditions her.

    As they read more of the play, Vanda's talent shows up. She incrementally gains control over her performance, stage, and even Thomas, who is the director and ultimate arbiter. As the audition progresses, the line between reality and the theatrical performance blurs out. The events in the play find ties to the events in the real life of Thomas and he hands over control of the stage to Vanda who emerges as goddess.

    Toward the end of the movie, Thomas finds a change to gain the control back and drive the audition (and his real life which is completely intermingled with the play at this point) but Vanda cunningly flips the role and retain the control.

    The power dynamics between Vanda and Thomas are interesting subjects to ponder on but the movie does not give any clue on what they mean. Deciphering of hidden messages in the movie is left completely to the viewer. Questions about this movie can linger in your mind for days after watching it.

    Performances in Venus in Fur are great and the blurring of reality and fantasy is interesting but the movie is lofty for the general audience and pointless for the critics. I cannot imagine what type of audience may enjoy this movie.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 8, 2014
    8
    It's wonderful to see a film that knows exactly what it wants to be with no pretensions towards greatness. VENUS IN FUR is pure adultIt's wonderful to see a film that knows exactly what it wants to be with no pretensions towards greatness. VENUS IN FUR is pure adult entertainment that takes total pleasure in the magnificence of acting. Emmanuelle Seigner is so delicious, loopy, sexy, funny, mean that it hurts (pun intended). Although created for the New York stage, director Roman Polanski totally inserts himself into the action via actor Mathieu Amalric who once again delivers a wonderful screen performance to match Seigner's. The play attempts to take on more than it can chew at the end as the explanations fly but actually the film is much better than that. The point is clear. No explanation needed. It is all overt enough. There is no real depth to VENUS IN FUR, it's about the magic of acting and the world we create around ourselves. Full Review »
  3. Jul 6, 2014
    8
    With so many films feeling so flat and homogenized, it's refreshing to experience a film with such energetic and complex performances. MathieuWith so many films feeling so flat and homogenized, it's refreshing to experience a film with such energetic and complex performances. Mathieu Amalric and especially, Emmanuelle Seigner are so engaging, you almost forget that you are essentially watching a filmed play. Full Review »