Venus in Fur

"La Vénus à la fourrure" (English captions) is submitted by France for the 2014 Seattle International Film Festival. This highly acclaimed film: Lumiere Award 2014 (Best Screenplay), Cesar Award 2013 (Best Director), is a two-person tour de force but it finally wore me down.

Directed by Roman Polanski, this started out looking like a screwball comedy with extremely witty dialogue and remarkably well-translated idiomatic captions. We have a playwright who has been holding auditions for his adaption of Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch's 19th century book about pleasure and pain (does "masochism" ring a bell?); he hasn't been able to find a satisfactory female lead. A scattered actress arrives very late and after many false starts, manages to finagle an audition.

We see:
  • Emmanuelle Seigner ("La Vie en Rose") is Vanda, the goofy actress who seamlessly slips between her character in the play within the movie and her character in the movie. In my opinion, she is brilliant (but she can't dance worth a darn).
  • Mathieu Amalric ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly") plays Thomas, the befuddled author and bedazzled foil for this clever but exasperating woman; e.g., she keeps revisiting the difference between "ambivalent and ambiguous."
By the time Vanda has Thomas in lipstick and high heels, I finally had lost patience, along with a number of other audience members who had done the "second-act sneak," quietly slipping out in the cover of darkness.

I stayed because I thought I should let you know....
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Here is a preview:
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