User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 25 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 25
  2. Negative: 4 out of 25
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  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.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.
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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: Steve Davis
    Sep 3, 2014
    67
    Casting Seigner in the coveted role of Vanda in this adaptation of David Ives’ Tony-winning play may strike some as nepotistic (she’s married to director Polanski), but her performance stands on its own. It’s deliciously self-conscious.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Jul 11, 2014
    75
    This may not be Roman Polanski’s finest movie; it may not even be his best adaptation of a play. But it’s masterfully done in a way that does justice to its source material.