Parents' Guide to

Venus in Fur

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Play-based Polanski drama has strong sex talk, language.

Movie NR 2014 96 minutes
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Venus in Fur never forgets to be playful and fluid, always moving, shifting gears, and surprising. Throughout his career, from his feature debut Knife in the Water (1962) to Carnage (2011), director Roman Polanski has specialized in wringing psychological tension from just a few characters who fall to pieces within limited spaces. In VENUS IN FUR, that place happens to be in the theater, and because it's based on a play by David Ives, some viewers may find the movie too stagy or stagebound.

But Polanski doesn't use the theater setting like a stage, and it moves very much like a movie -- a highly skilled one at that. Polanski uses all the lights, space, moods, and props available to him, including the leftover sets from a prior play (a musical version of Stagecoach). The movie isn't necessarily titillating or erotic, which may disappoint viewers. It's more about the psychology and nature of fetish; it's mostly innuendo.

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