VENUS IN FUR | MOVIE REVIEW

Friday night is my DVD night, ok more Blu Ray night, I have a lazy meal, a bottle of wine and curl up with Dark (the cat) to watch something fun. It is usually an actiony thing I can lose myself in and stop thinking. But last night nothing was taking my fancy, everything was just m’eh to me. Then I looked at my press discs I have to get reviewed and picked up this disc for Roman Polanski’s VENUS IN FUR (aka LA VÉNUS À LA FOURRURE), knew nothing about it besides the poster having some seductive ladie’s legs on it a la THE SECRETARY. I checked the release date and totally OH MY’d – it released this THUR 17th JULY from Rialto Distribution. It runs for 96mins and is undoubtedly rated MA15+. It is based on a Tony Award winning play and it blew my mind. Straight to my top five films for the year.  

 

VENUS IN FUR MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
VENUS IN FUR | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER

 

REVIEW BY JASON KING

Director Roman Polanski has had some incredible films in his time, I mean mind blowing films like ROSEMARY’S BABY, CHINATOWN, FRANTIC and THE PIANIST. He has also had some shockers, THE NINTH GATE, THE GHOST WRITER and (WTF?) RUSH HOUR 3. He is a controversial man with personal matters but the majority of his films are uniquely Polanski and tend to involve a lot of tense thought provoking content that at times is claustrophobic and incredibly psychological. He dives headlong into more of this intellectual content with VENUS IN FUR, a film that is a Francophiled version of the Tony Award winning David Ives’ (off and on) Broadway theatre piece that is originally set in New York. Ives’ play and Polanski’s film are both inspired by author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s semi-autobiographical 1870 novella, Venus In Furs. This novella actually penned and invented the term masochism. Read the author’s last name again!

There are only two characters in the story and the entire thing is set in a theatre. It is a play within a play story and for this it is more of a play within a play within a film – call it Inception Theatre 3rd level (I an so copywriting that term!).

 

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VENUS IN FUR | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | VANDA (EMMANUELLE SEIGNER) AND THOMAS (MATHIEU AMALRIC)

 

Vanda (Emmanuelle Seigner – aka Mrs Roman Polanski) is running late to audition for the role of the character Vanda in the play Venus in Fur, she comes into the theatre dripping with rain as Thomas (Mathieu Amalric), the director (and adapter of the book) is packing up and whining on the phone to his wife that he has not found his Vanda and that all the people who auditioned were woeful and that he will be home soon. He is determined to leave and put this day behind him when this lower classed, trashy actress walks in taking a million miles an hour trying to convince him to allow her to read. And so begins a night into the soul, a psychological study of masochism, domination, sexuality, arousal, seduction and a total mind f*ck.

Actors Emmanuelle Seigner (LA VIEN ROSE) and Mathieu Amalric (THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL) reunite on screen together for the first time since 2007’s THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY and they are truly mind-blowingly exceptional – this film is a master class in acting and the chemistry, and the film being in French, just elevate this film to the level of masterpiece. Add to this acting the music by Alexandre Desplat (six time Oscar nominee best known for the music on the latter Harry Potters) and the maestro himself, Polanski, weaving a magic carpet of a film and the film is faultless.

 

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VENUS IN FUR | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | VANDA (EMMANUELLE SEIGNER) AND THOMAS (MATHIEU AMALRIC)

 

Once Thomas believes he has found his actress with Vanda and they start reading, he goes from being the director not into the acting and only reading for the cast to a major player in the story that evolves on the stage and film. His performance is remarkable and truly inspiring. The thing is Seigner owns this film. She is a chameleon and quick changing intelligent vixen. She is never who you truly believe she is and might as well just be the goddess Venus mortalised. And the moral of this story – is basically, (excuse the language again but the film is full of it) “Do not fuck with a goddess, especially the goddess of love.”

Vanda/ Venus is not happy with the way women are sexualised and so indulges her curiosity into why Thomas chose this play, delving all the way into his childhood psyche and setting things right for women. While not a “women’s rights” film – this film does more for feminine thinking and independence and domination than most Facebook organised rallies. Venus is a god, equality can kiss it’s ass basically.

 

The moral of the tale is this: whoever allows himself to be whipped, deserves to be whipped.

― Leopold von Sacher-MasochVenus in Furs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is an actor’s film and a film for anyone in the industry or for anyone who loves the theatre, as soon as it ended I started texting all my theatre friends telling them they had to get to see this before it ends in the cinemas. This film will basically get next to no marketing and relies on word of mouth – if you want to see the original inspiration for 50 SHADES OF GREY, but told with the intelligence of a poet, directed by a magician and acted with mesmerising brilliance then get yourself out to see VENUS IN FUR immediately!

 

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VENUS IN FUR | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | VANDA (EMMANUELLE SEIGNER) AND THOMAS (MATHIEU AMAIRIC)

 

VENUS IN FUR is playing at the following cinemas nationally:

VIC:

Palace Como

Palace Kino

NSW:

Palace Norton

Palace Chauvel

QLD:

Palace Centro 

SA:

Palace Nova East End Adelaide

ACT:

Palace Electric

TAS

State Cinema

 

5 Pops

 

 

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