Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jul 11, 2014
    100
    Wickedly smart and wickedly playful, Roman Polanski's adaptation of David Ives' Tony-nominated Venus in Fur works on so many levels, it's almost dizzying.
  2. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Jul 3, 2014
    90
    It is a caustic, comic, cerebral romp for a long time before it hits you with its best shot — some Polanski-worthy darkness.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jun 17, 2014
    90
    Polanski orchestrates this cat-and-mouse game with devilish delight, dancing around Ives's play as if it were a pagan bonfire, jabbing at it with his figurative pitchfork.
  4. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Jun 18, 2014
    83
    Polanski isn’t a miracle worker. Venus In Fur works where the facile "Carnage" largely didn’t because the play itself is something of a delight — a straightforward but sharply comic twofer about roleplaying and control-based relationships (be they artistic, romantic, or otherwise). The casting, too, is impeccable.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 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 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 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. Mathieu Amalric and especially, Emmanuelle Seigner are so engaging, you almost forget that you are essentially watching a filmed play. Full Review »