Venus in Fur (film)

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Venus in Fur
Venus in Fur poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRoman Polanski
Produced byRobert Benmussa [fr]
Alain Sarde
Screenplay byDavid Ives
Roman Polanski
Based onVenus in Fur
by David Ives
StarringEmmanuelle Seigner
Mathieu Amalric
Music byAlexandre Desplat
CinematographyPaweł Edelman
Edited byHervé de Luze
Margot Meynier
Distributed byMars Distribution
Release date
  • 25 May 2013 (2013-05-25) (Cannes)
  • 13 November 2013 (2013-11-13) (France)
Running time
96 minutes

Venus in Fur (French: La Vénus à la fourrure) is a 2013 French erotic drama film directed by Roman Polanski. It is based on the play of the same name by American playwright David Ives, which itself was inspired by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch's novel Venus in Furs.[1] It stars Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric, the only actors in the film.

The film premiered in competition for the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival on 25 May.[2][3] In January 2014 the film received five nominations at the 39th César Awards,[4] winning for Best Director.[5]


Thomas Novacheck is a writer-director of a new play, an adaptation of the 1870 novel Venus in Furs by Austrian author Leopold von Sacher-Masoch. Alone in a Parisian theatre after a day of auditioning actresses for the lead character, Wanda von Dunayev, Thomas laments on the phone the poor performances to come through. As he is preparing to leave the theatre, an actress named Vanda arrives disheveled. In a whirlwind of energy and unrestrained aggression, Vanda persuades the director to let her read for the part. To Thomas's amazement, Vanda shows great understanding of the character and knows every line by heart. As the audition progresses, the intensity is redoubled and the attraction of Thomas turns into obsession.



The intention to adapt Ives' play was announced in September 2012. Louis Garrel was to play Novacheck.[6] Filming was scheduled to begin in November 2012, but in the event, production was delayed until January 2013 and Garrel was replaced by Amalric.[7]


Sundance Selects/IFC Films acquired the U.S. rights to the film following its premiere at Cannes.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

A. O. Scott of The New York Times said, "Working from a French translation of the play (which was widely acclaimed when it ran on and off Broadway a few years ago), Mr. Polanski has marked the text with his own fingerprints. One of the two characters—the splendidly volatile Vanda, an actress—is played by Emmanuelle Seigner, his wife. Her foil—a writer and theater director named Thomas—is played by Mathieu Amalric in a performance that is very close to a Polanski impersonation."[9]

PopMatters magazine wrote, "Venus in Fur is fascinating to the point that (subtitles or not), you simply cannot look away from the screen. There is always something to see, hear and feel."[10]


  1. ^ "Polański's Venus in Fur in the Competition for Palme d'Or". 18 April 2013.
  2. ^ "2013 Official Selection". Cannes Film Festival. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
  3. ^ 2013 Cannes Film Festival: Screenings of 25 May 2013 Archived 3 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Berenice Bejo, Lea Seydoux, Roman Polanski Among France's Cesar Awards Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  5. ^ "France's Cesar Awards: 'Me, Myself and Mum' Wins Best Film". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
  6. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (20 September 2012). "Roman Polanski To Helm Screen Version Of Venus In Fur". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  7. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (17 January 2013). "Mathieu Amalric Replaces Louis Garrel In Roman Polanski's 'Venus In Fur'". IndieWire. SnagFilms. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  8. ^ "Roman Polanski's Venus in Fur Gets U.S. Distribution", Variety, Accessed online, 30 March 2014
  9. ^ Scott, A. O. (19 June 2014). "In Venus in Fur, Polanski Adapts a Sexually Charged Play". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Maçek III, J.C. (1 December 2014). "'Venus in Fur' Blurs the Lines Between Character, Actor, and Director". PopMatters.

External links[edit]