Based on the multi-award-winning play by David Ives, Venus in Fur is a witty, intelligent drama from Roman Polanski that was nominated for the Palme d'Or.
Alone in a Paris theatre after a long day of auditioning for his new play, writer-director Thomas complains about the poor calibre of talent he has seen. No actress has what it takes to play his female lead; a woman who enters into an agreement with her male counterpart to dominate him as her slave.
Thomas is about to leave the theatre when actress Vanda bursts in, a whirlwind of erratic and erotic energy. At first she seems to embody everything Thomas has been lamenting. She is pushy, foul-mouthed, desperate and ill-prepared; or so it seems. But when Thomas finally, 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 (even sharing the character's name), but she apparently has researched the role exhaustively, down to buying props, reading source materials and learning every line by heart. The likeness proves to be much more than skin-deep. As the extended "audition" builds momentum, Thomas moves from attraction to obsession.
★★★★ "A sly dismantling of the sexual politics of performance" - Jonathan Romney, The Observer
★★★★ "Funny and strangely sensual" - Dave Calhoun, Time Out