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.
[font=Century Gothic]Written by Hanif Kureishi, "Venus" is a slight but witty comedy with good performances, epsecially Vanessa Redgrave in an underplayed part. What the movie is mostly concerned with is growing older, especially as it concerns the elderly. For example, Maurice, a distinguished actor, can only get roles as corpses these days.(So, presumably nobody is interested in making movies about senior citizens.) And no matter how badly his body may be suffering(prostate is his current complaint), his mind is more than willing, Jessie being the reason he gets out of bed in the morning. I am looking forward to being a dirty old man myself but the movie errs by making the audience complicit in Maurice's leering. Even worse, Jessie's whole purpose as a human being seems to be as a sex object. It never occurs to anybody in the film that she might actually have a mind of her own. [/font]
Although approaching death, he finds renewal and inspiration in the form of a young neice of a friend, whose youthful sensuality and beauty stirs the embers of a once passionate,erotic man.