Critics Consensus

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.



Total Count: 151


Audience Score

User Ratings: 11,450
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Movie Info

An aging pair of veteran English actors whose success never quite took hold finds their quiet existence suddenly interrupted by the arrival of one of the men's precocious grandnieces in director Roger Michell's affectionate comedy drama. Maurice (Peter O'Toole) and Ian (Leslie Phillips) may still land the occasional paying gig -- Maurice has recently been cast as a corpse in a popular television drama -- but for the most part, their days are spent cataloging their ailments over meals at their favorite café. Though the arrival of Ian's grandniece Jessie doesn't immediately set so well with her curmudgeonly great uncle, Maurice takes an immediate liking to the girl, and makes it a mission to expose the youngster to some of the bustling capitol's best-known sights. As the newly invigorated septuagenarian does his best to teach the wide-eyed youngster a thing or two about life, he soon comes to realize just how little he truly knows about the subject at such a late point in life.

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Critic Reviews for Venus

All Critics (151) | Top Critics (44)

  • 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.

    Feb 9, 2007 | Rating: 5/5
  • 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.

    Feb 3, 2007 | Rating: 2/6 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Feb 3, 2007
  • Venus is a fine reminder of the wonders we're presented with every day.

    Jan 26, 2007 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

    Tom Long

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

    Jan 26, 2007 | Rating: 3/4
  • Because it's built around theater people, Kureishi's script offers ample opportunities for amusing repartee, and the performances are strong ...

    Jan 26, 2007 | Rating: B

Audience Reviews for Venus

  • Aug 09, 2014
    A beautiful and striking meditation on aging, living and facing mortality with a superb performance by the incomparable Peter O'Toole. Exceptional performances by veteran Phillips and newcomer Whittaker. Excellent performances all around with a uniquely inspiring script. An excellent movie in every way. A film that should not be missed.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Dec 24, 2012
    Ick! While the Venus of the film is great O'Toole is about ten years too old for this May December romance. The sparks are forced.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 20, 2010
    An odd but sweet and touching story.
    Sunil J Super Reviewer
  • Mar 20, 2009
    Not at all what I expected, but that's a good thing since this movie had me laughing almost nonstop. Peter O'Toole had his heart broken again by just missing out on finally winning Best Actor for his role as a dirty old man who falls in love with his best friend's daughter's niece, whom he affectionately calls Venus. Maurice is a veteran actor who is somewhat rapidly dying, though you wouldn't know it from how young Jessie makes his feel. A very good movie with a lot of funny, albeit dirty dialogue.
    Derek D Super Reviewer

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