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Critics Sing Praise for Roman Polanski's Venus in Fur with 88% Rating on Rotten Tomatoes

Venus in Fur, director Roman Polanski's newest hit film, has struck a chord with movie critics.
  • <strong>Roman Polanski</strong>
    PARIS, FRANCE, December 03, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Venus in Fur, director Roman Polanski's newest hit film, has struck a chord with movie critics. The film, classified as a drama or a "playful S&M comedy," is based on the popular Broadway play, Venus in Fur by David Ives, which is based on the novel written by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. The film stars Polanski's wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, as Vanda, and Mathieu Amalric as Thomas.

The novel turned play turned movie shares the story of Thomas Novacheck, a writer and director of a new play, an adaptation of the 1870 novel, Venus in Furs. When he is on the phone discussing how inadequate the actresses who showed up to audition for the female lead were, a new actress, Vanda Jordan, comes in and convinces him to read the play with her, for her shot at the part. As the two of them read through the play together with Novacheck in the lead role, Vanda shows incredible insight into the novel, as well as the main character. Over the course of the reading, Vanda establishes total dominance over Novacheck, exactly as in the novel.

Critic Peter Bradshaw says, "Venus In Fur is a playful if occasionally heavy-handed jeu d'esprit on the subject of sexual role-play, the games we all play, illusion and reality, and directing as a sexual act. These last two ideas are certainly made more piquant by the fact that Polanski is married to Emmanuelle Seigner, his female lead. And the fact that the fictional director denounces the current preoccupation with 'child abuse' adds another twinge of fascination."

Critic Neil M. Smith says, "Polanski's follow-up to his film adaptation of the award-winning play 'Carnage' is another adaptation of an award-winning play (in this case an erotic two-hander by David Ives) set in a sole location -- in 'Carnage' the action unfolded in a cramped apartment, in 'Venus in Fur,' a theater. Polanski's wife and frequent collaborator Emmanuelle Seigner gives a wildly engaging performance as Vanda, an actress who shows up late to an audition for Thomas (Mathieu Almaric), a writer-director with some sadomasochist issues. What transpires over the course of their meeting is a battle of the sexes, where both weave in and out of playing Thomas' characters, blurring the line between what's written in his play and what's happening in reality."

Variety's Chief Film Critic Scott Foundas says, "Roman Polanski once again transfers a New York stage hit to the screen with maximum fidelity and facility, and a minimum of fuss.

As the two Vandas, Seigner faces the challenge of playing an actress playing a character who may herself be a spurned goddess in disguise, and she moves nimbly through the myriad layers of artifice, sometimes fully "in" her 19th-century alter ego, sometimes outside it, commenting on Sacher-Masoch's text through the contemporary Vanda's postmodern, feminist gaze. Amalric has less distance to travel from Thomas to Severin and back again -- both of them self-absorbed writers getting a kind of comeuppance -- but he makes the part fully his own, more shambling and neurotic than the slick egotist Wes Bentley (replaced by Hugh Dancy for the Broadway transfer) essayed in the original production. Though Polanski's decision to cast considerably older performers in both roles initially seems counterintuitive, it ultimately adds one more layer to Ives' dense mesh of reality and fiction."

Venus in fur currently holds an 88% rating and 98% audience wants to see rating on Rottentomatoes.com.

About the Director
Roman Polanski is a Polish film director, producer, writer and actor. Having made films in Poland, Britain, France and the USA, he is considered one of the few truly international filmmakers.


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