Country: France / Poland
Movie Review: Roman Polanski’s new staged drama, “Venus in Fur”, creates a scenario of female domination and male subjugation that grows in intensity as it progresses to the end. Emmanuele Seigner and Mathieu Almaric run the show, putting some soul in their performances and extended dialogues that try to better characterize this male-female nature study. At the end of the day, Thomas Novaceck, the writer-director of a new play adapted from Masoch’s 1870 “Venus in Furs”, is disgusted with the poor auditions for the main role of Wanda von Dunayev. His disposition will change when a seductive woman named Vanda shows to be the perfect choice for the role, slowly manipulating him with her observations, suggestions, discussions, and alluring power. Less funny than “Carnage”, “Venus in Fur” adopts the same theatrical tones (now in a real theater), having its dose of success by creating a nervous tension through inflamed words of disagreement, while its protagonists slightly get off the play and enter in an entrapping reality. The phone calls interrupting Thomas were crucial, trying to bring him back from an obsession that grows without control. Not everyone will be pleased by the film's cunning changes and tangled discussions, which sometimes fall in repetitive cadences, but in several occasions, it can be very sensual (thanks to a Seigner in great shape) and deliciously evil. Definitely it’s worth a look, even if its genre isn’t among my favorites.