Undeniably quirky and even a bit discomforting, Roman Polanski’s Venus in Fur feature two incredible performances by Emmanuelle Seigner (Polanski’s wife) and Mathieu Amalric who most might remember from Casino Royale. The setting itself is simple but the story structure is interesting seeing the transformation of the two roles from beginning to end.
Venus in Fur
MPI Media Group | NR – 96 min. – $24.98 | October 14, 2014
Alone in a Paris theater after a long day of auditioning actresses for his new play, writer-director Thomas (MATHIEU AMALRIC) is distraught that no one has what it takes to play the lead female character: a woman who enters into an agreement with her male counterpart to dominate him as her slave.
Enter pushy, foul-mouthed, desperate and ill-prepared actress Vanda (EMMANUELLE SIGNER) who is a whirlwind of erratic – and, it turns out, erotic – energy. When Thomas reluctantly agrees to let her try out for the part, he is stunned and captivated by her transformation: not only is Vanda a perfect fit, but she apparently has researched the role exhaustively, learned her lines by heart and even bought her own props. The likeness proves to be much more than skin-deep, and as the extended “audition” builds momentum, Thomas moves from attraction to obsession until the balance of power between director and actress shifts completely.
Based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway play by David Ives, Venus in Fur is the latest work from filmmaker Roman Polanski and a showcase for powerhouse performances from its two acclaimed leads.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.25/5
Not much here except for a set of Interviews (11:55) with Roman Polanski, Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric and the Trailer (1:43).
VIDEO – 4.0/5 | AUDIO – 4.5/5
The film is presented with an anamorphic widescreen 2.40 aspect ratio and for the most part looks good with minimal artifacts and some stark dark levels given the majority of the film takes place overnight in a theatre.
The Dolby Digital 5.1 track, meanwhile, sounds exceptional providing not only clear dialogues making use of the center channel but the front and rear speakers give solid depth courtesy of the score by Alexandre Desplat (Godzilla 2014).
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, undeniably quirky and even a bit discomforting, Roman Polanski’s Venus in Fur feature two incredible performances by Emmanuelle Seigner (Polanski’s wife) and Mathieu Amalric who most might remember from Quantum of Solace. The setting itself is simple but the story structure is interesting seeing the transformation of the two roles from beginning to end. The DVD released by MPI Home Video offers good video but excellent audio transfers.