★★★★✩ Tough Cookie
Genre: Drama, Feminism
Thomas is a starry-eyed screenwriter trying his hand at directing, but is finding that it's harder than he thought to find the perfect actress to play his female protagonist. Then in walks Vanda, an aspiring actress who shares the surname of his beloved protagonist. Vanda is everything Thomas does NOT want in his actress; crude, unprepared, and blunt. But when he finally allows her to audition, Thomas find that Vanda is more than perfect for the role. The two spend the entire night running scenes, and as they do so, the lines between the actors and the characters blur.
I originally watched La Vénus à la Fourrure for an "Impossible Love" class that I took in college, and immediately fell in love with the plot and characters. Vanda's character is complex and everchanging, leading viewers to question whether she is simply an aspiring actress, or rather an undercover goddess. The restrictive setting (the entire film takes place in a drafty old theater) and the elaborate character development is entrancing. The film is full of "easter eggs", making it the perfect subject for multiple viewings. The film does contain mature subject matter, specifically extensive talk of sex and S&M.
★★✩✩✩ Easygoing / ★★★★✩ Tough Cookie
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Like most French movies, La Vénus à la Fourrure contains fast and complicated dialogue, including niche slang and various accents. Should you watch the film with English subtitles, the difficulty level should be ★★✩✩✩ Easygoing, though you can up the difficulty level by avoiding reading the subtitles. Watching with French subtitles or no subtitles at all would make the film ★★★★✩ Tough Cookie in difficulty.
Order La Vénus à la Fourrure from Netflix!