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Venus (2006)



Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 150
Fresh: 133 | Rotten: 17

Audiences may attend to witness Peter O'Toole's Oscar-worthy performance, but they'll also be treated to a humane, tender exploration of maturing with both dignity and irreverence.


Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 40
Fresh: 39 | Rotten: 1

Audiences may attend to witness Peter O'Toole's Oscar-worthy performance, but they'll also be treated to a humane, tender exploration of maturing with both dignity and irreverence.



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 11,110

My Rating

Movie Info

"Venus" tells the story of Maurice and Ian, a pair of veteran actors whose comfortable daily routine is disrupted by the arrival of Ian's grand-niece, Jessie. Maurice takes the teenager under his wing, but is surprised to discover how very little he actually knows now that his own life is drawing to a close. The cast also includes Vanessa Redgrave and Richard Griffiths.


Drama, Romance, Comedy

May 22, 2007


Miramax Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (157) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (133) | Rotten (17) | DVD (17)

O'Toole spent so many years being better than the little material that he was offered that it's heartening to see him sprint toward the finish of his career with such a flourish. If this is his curtain call, it's a glorious one.

February 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If only [director] Michell's film actually said something about aging, and didn't feel the need to include Grumpy Old Men shtick and bland bossa nova-inflected pop.

February 3, 2007 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Venus belongs to O'Toole. This is, hands down, my favorite performance of the year, largely because I love the way O'Toole (and the filmmakers) refuse to yield to the all-too-pervasive idea that it's 'icky' for old people to even think about sex.

February 3, 2007 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles, they say, and Peter O'Toole, 74, proves the point in Venus.

January 26, 2007
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Venus is a fine reminder of the wonders we're presented with every day.

January 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Venus is emotionally affecting, not because O'Toole's Maurice is coping with mortality, but because of the honest way he confronts it.

January 26, 2007 Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A starring vehicle for an aging star who receives deafening awards buzz not so much for the performance than, it seems, for simply being alive.

January 20, 2012 Full Review Source:

It's a pleasure to have Peter O'Toole's company here - likely for the last time in a role of such magnitude & majesty, bangs still swept back in boyish wisps and his sky-blue eyes vibrant and hungry. A loving, lyrical, eloquent sonnet to elderly sunsets.

November 22, 2010 Full Review Source:

Worth seeing for O'Toole's incorrigible twilight jesting

August 28, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

While age may have devoured O'Toole's youth, it has been utterly unable to touch his blistering talent, or his eyes which still sparkle with rakish light.

February 28, 2008 Full Review Source:

The only thing that resonated with me was O'Toole, who is at his playful best playing a role made to order for him of the boozer rascal who could charm a snake.

February 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Superb acting on life's journey; not for kids.

October 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Una comedia dramática agridulce donde brilla con luz propia el formidable Peter O'Toole, en un papel que tiene mucho de sí mismo.

September 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

There is consequently an authenticity to the movie that's intensified by O'Toole's expectedly masterful performance...

August 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

What makes Venus unforgettable is not the fine direction and script, or Vanessa Redgrave's startling cameo as Maurice's suffering ex-wife, or Whittaker's award-worthy debut; it's that the viewer can't draw a line between O'Toole's career and Maurice's.

June 8, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Theatre Wire

...neither a romance nor a comedy but an engaging slice of life, a charming treat that reminds us how fragile life is.

May 18, 2007 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

He quotes Shakespeare; she quotes Kylie Minogue.The plot takes an awkward turn about two-thirds of the way through, but up until then, Kureishi's screenplay offers an intriguing contrast of styles.

May 11, 2007 Full Review Source: Kalamazoo Gazette
Kalamazoo Gazette

Not winning the Oscar takes nothing away from Peter O'Toole's unforgettable performance as Maurice, a gifted, once devastatingly handsome man who, as the doleful lyrics of a recent Morrissey song state, falls in love even as he lies on his deathbed.

March 16, 2007 Full Review Source: Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

Vênus se salva do fracasso graças ao veterano Peter O'Toole, que oferece uma performance digna do homem responsável por encarnar figuras inesquecíveis como T.E. Lawrence, o Rei Henry II e mesmo o absurdo Eli Cross.

March 8, 2007
Cinema em Cena

Venus isn't just a small-scale character study, but a thing of beauty to be treasured -- just like its star.

March 7, 2007 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A movie that recognizes that in old age, our minds might remain bright with humor and mischief, but our bodies nevertheless betray us. Coming to terms with that gives "Venus" its emotional final act.

March 5, 2007 Full Review Source: Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

The film is engaging. There is a good deal of humanity and a bit of nostalgia.

March 4, 2007 Full Review

Peter O'Toole so completely throws himself into the role of Maurice... that the only response is to suspect that he is letting us see the real man behind the actorly mask...

February 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher
Flick Filosopher

So many movies presume to instruct us on how to be young, and to insist we remain that way. Here's a rare picture that with all due respect -- and all due irreverence -- would like to suggest one vital way of being old.

February 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

There are scenes in Venus when rational thought seems lost to something more powerful, and ambiguous.

February 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Zertinet Movies
Zertinet Movies

Newcomer Jodie Whittaker fulfills the elusive arc of her budding character, but it is the great Peter O'Toole who makes every ticking of the clock seem a momentous occasion in this nuanced drama about the power of the female body to inspire.

February 19, 2007 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Venus

A touching, heartfelt drama as two old semi retired actors lives are turned upside down upon the arrival of the niece of one of them. Peter O'Toole becomes infatuated with her and has a strange friendship with her. A film with a certain charm, if a bit odd at times, but the acting talent on show steals the day.
July 29, 2010

Super Reviewer

A fantastic film! Peter O'Toole and Leslie Phillips's chemistry is superb! O'Toole should have won the Oscar! Vanessa Redgrave's performance is also very touching. Highly recommended!
October 1, 2009

Super Reviewer

Venus is the story of how two aging actors (Peter O'Toole and Leslie Philips) lives are turned upside down by a teenager relative of Philip's character Ian. O'Toole plays Maurice, a seventy-something how becomes infatuated with her, but not really to the point of lust. Maurice sees her as a work of art, in some cases perfection and in others a piece that needs to be molded some more.
O'Toole's performance is fantastic and dare I say he should have gotten the Oscar for this one. The film isn't on par of Lawrence of Arabia, but his performance certainly is- a haunting look at an actor that's become a legend on stage but has failed in the other aspects of his life. He is a stranger to himself and "Venus" is a means to introduction.
In the middle of this veteran cast you have Jodie Whittaker playing Jessie a.k.a. Venus. Whittaker takes the role and runs with it (she was 25 at the time of the film) and her past career has her following in the shadowy footsteps of O'Toole and the other veteran cast members.
Even though the script for Venus can be a little ho-hum at times, the acting is what really makes this into a superior film that I would recommend seeing. Is it Peter O'Toole's swan song? I certainly hope not.
July 19, 2008

Super Reviewer

    1. Donald: How many columns did he get?
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Valerie: When you die everyone's your friend.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Ian: There are no pockets in a shroud.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Jessie: Don't you believe in anything, Maurice?
    2. Maurice: Pleasure I like. I try to give pleasure. It' all I can recommend to anyone.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Maurice: I am about to die and I know nothing about myself.
    2. Ian: You've been loved, though, Maurice, loved and adored.
    3. Maurice: Yes, and so have you, Ian, a little bit. Except you didn't always notice it.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
    1. Maurice: A woman's body. For most men, the most beautiful thing he will ever see.
    2. Jessie: What's the most beautiful thing a woman sees?
    3. Maurice: Her first child.
    – Submitted by Frances H (18 months ago)
View all quotes (9)

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