Masochism gets its name from Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch, an Austrian writer and, unsurprisingly, a submissive in a master-slave relationship. His 19th century novella, Venus in Furs, tackles that subject matter; its themes were turned into a play in 2010, which has now come to the screen courtesy of Roman Polanski. This stuff is Polanski’s wheelhouse, and say what you will about him, Polanski can still direct the hell out of a movie. Case in point: Venus in Fur, which casts Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell & the Butterfly) as a theatrical director auditioning actresses until she walks in. She is Emmanuelle Seigner, Polanski’s wife, and the director falls under her spell. Amping up the tension is the fact that this is a two-character movie, which is usually an impediment. But Polanski is in rare form here, keeping everything interesting and selling the psychosexual stuff and the comedic notes with equal aplomb.
Director: Roman Polanski
Producer: Robert Benmussa, Alain Sarde and Roman Polanski
Cast: Emmanuelle Seigner and Mathieu Amalric