OK La-Venus-a-la-fourrure-affiche

The cult director Roman Polanski makes a comeback to the erotic thriller genre two decades after his revealing Bitter Moon (1992) with this fun dialectical orgy, not free from mystery, about masochist games.

The plot of his new film is set around the obscure relationship between Thomas and Vanda in a Parisian theatre setting on a weird storm night. Thomas (Mathieu Amalric), the theatre director, feels worn out after an exhausting day of auditions without finding the actress for the main character. At that moment a last candidate (Emmanuelle Seigner) barges in and does not hesitate to seduce the playwright for hours until she gets what she wants from him, the lead role in the La Vénus à la fourrure and something more… To that end she will use all her powers and more than one ace up her sleeve, that will surely surprise the audience. The chemistry between the actors emerges once again on the big screen, six years after starring together in the prizewinning Le scaphandre et le papillon (2007).

The Polish director’s film, presented in the previous Cannes festival, is an adaptation from David Ives’ script and is preceded by his Broadway success, which got Nina Arianda a Tony award (2012) for Best Actress and a nomination for Best Play. The playwright was himself inspired by the erotic novel of the same name, written in 1870 by the Austrian Leopold von Sacher-Masoch who, because of his polemic book would become the father of masochism, when the psychiatrist Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing dubbed with the author’s last name those “depraved practices”, naming them masochists in his Phychopathia Sexualis.

The composer Alexandre Desplat, nominated for an Oscar for the sixth time for Philomena (2013), works with Polanski again after Carnage (2011) to give the finishing touch to La Vénus à la fourrure with a soundtrack that will follow the characters in their ins and off-screens, just like in the plot twists. Pay attention to the final scene, when Vanda reveals herself just as she is before Thomas’ perplexed glance, completely under her spell. Stripped of any disguise, fur and mask, the actress will reveal her secret before the camera in an eerie dance that few are likely to forget.