Venus - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Venus Reviews

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August 6, 2016
A cross-generational tale of friendship and more.
½ June 3, 2016
A modern classic. O'Toole showcases a powerhouse performance of a kinda creepy old man but yet a gentle, caring person. A multi layered film with plenty of drama and witty humor. A must see!
½ February 28, 2016
Being the final film to feature an Academy Award nominated performance from Peter O'Toole, Venus had a promising lead to boot.

Venus is a film very far from the Hollywood sphere. Without a big budget to dominate film direction of the film, Roger Michell merely focuses on keeping the themes in tact while guiding the cast to determine how successful it will all be. His efforts are respectful because he restrains himself enough not to overdo the drama or hit viewers over the head with the messages, rather structuring the film in such a way that it progresses as naturally as possible.
Since Venus is a film where not too much happens, its simplicity is the most beautiful element of the screenplay and also the anchor which weighs down the pacing. The film is a very slow one which puts predominant focus on developing the relationship between Maurice Russell and Jesse while reminding viewers of Maurice's mortality as a cancer sufferer. The screenplay relies on the interactions to carry the feature, and it easily oscillates between moments of comedy and drama so that viewers don't know what to expect but can sit back and enjoy it. There is a lot more drama than comedy, and there are occasions where it can be a bit too subtle to keep viewers entertained in the face of such a slow pace, but patience is key to enjoy an experience like Venus. Cleverly enough, the impatience of the film's young character Jessie is something viewers must combat within themselves to enjoy Venus which may encourage them to examine their own nature. But as well as that, the dialogue doesn't depicts its older characters as humans of perfect etiquette. Despite having sophistication and charm in their language, there is also a tendency for them to swear. This makes them seem all the more honest, therefore reinforcing a sense of reality in the film. As well as that, it adds a good touch of humour to the film. Since Venus is a very gentle film, the moments of coarse language prove very funny when they jump out of a scene which has already established a subtle mood, taking viewers by surprise. Venus is not afraid to have a comedic edge. Because of the age of the characters, many elements which would often be considered drama end up rather funny such as a sequence depicting a conflict between Maurice and Ian which progressively becomes physical. All in all, viewers should be able to find a sympathetic appeal in the story without the sentimentality of it all laid on too heavily thanks to some light humour along the way.
There is a lot of focus on characters in Venus. The character Jessie is very much a valid representation of contemporary youth. She is a self-obsessed, spoiled and egotistical person who is as greedy as she is vulnerable. Venus offers us the chance to examine what contemporary youth has come to in such a way that we can agreeably be critical of the behaviour yet also question the lives of the individuals who behave in such a way. It is a two sided story with rich honesty, and it gives viewers a chance to engage in sympathizing for such a character and her insecurities.
Another major theme in Venus is the beauty of the human form. Since the title derives from the favourite painting of the protagonist, the 17th century Diego Velaquez piece Rokeby Venus, the inspiration for it becomes clear. The notion is explored in multiple ways within Venus, both through clear lines of dialogue and the general lifestyle of Maurice Russell. The way that Roger Michell works to convey these themes to the audience very much relies on the efforts of the cast, and he ensures that he gets nothing but the best out of them.
Peter O'Toole's leading performance is agreeably the best reason to see Venus. Having accomplished so much as a performer in many decades, Peter O'Toole pulls himself back to a significantly simpler role for Venus and his charms elevate it beyond the lesser elements of the simplicity while embracing the more positive ones. Peter O'Toole carries a profound sense of wisdom with him in the part and offers it as a gift to both the surrounding characters and the viewers lucky enough to witness the glory of his performance. But although he has a wise nature about him, Maurice has sporadic moments of incompetence which captures the nature of an elderly gentlemen with both sympathetic vulnerability and clever humour. Peter O'Toole's gracious passion for the role encourages him to adapt that humourous moments of the script as easily as the drama, delivering a performance which is likely to both have viewers feeling touched as well as laughing. Peter O'Toole's effort as Maurice Russell is a reminder of his undying talent and passion as an actor, combining his talents for comedy and drama with his age to create an ideal character for the man,
Jodie Whittaker also makes a beautiful effort. In the role of Jessie, Jodie Whittaker manages to easily capture the entitled and selfish nature of the character in an almost stereotypical fashion at the beginning before reaching out to audiences with her character development and causing them to reflect on their judgement. She doesn't go through any sudden transformation; she progressively develops the character over time at a steady rate through genuinely learning from Peter O'Toole in the same way Jessie learns from Maurice. Jodie Whittaker has the power to frustrate viewers one minute and reach out to them the next, and by the end she completely transforms the role.
Leslie Phillips and Vanessa Redgrave also lend their support to the film.

Venus is a film which capitalizes on Roger Michell's passion for subtlety, and though this means that some of its themes are not fully maximised and the pace of the film is slow, it also challenges the actors to truly give it their all which brings the best out of Peter O'Toole and everyone around him.
December 28, 2015
Venus is a funny film. It is about the life for a pair of veteran actors that gets turned upside down after they meet a brash teenager. Peter O'Toole and Leslie Phillips give excellent performances. The script is well written. Roger Michell did a great job directing this movie. I enjoyed watching this motion picture because of the humor and romance. Venus is a must see.
½ November 14, 2015
gr8 later career Peter O'Toole (Lawrence of Arabia)
½ October 2, 2015
O'toole really does the material justice and the audience gets rewarded for it.
½ September 8, 2015
I can hear the feminist critiques but I still loved it in all its raunchiness
September 6, 2015
Peter O'Toole is charming and delightful in this his last Oscar nominated performance. Leslie Phillips is also great in this. It is well written and has a great score.
April 14, 2015
An aging actor's life is given new meaning when he meets the beautiful, if not troubled, young neice of a friend. Simply brilliant in all regards, this picture captures the bittersweet mix of joy and sorrow of both the man and his young muse. Wonderful!
February 16, 2015
The relationship is very touching. While the soundtrack is obnoxious and perhaps the comedic moments cater to a certain demographic, Peter O' Toole's performance is fantastic and the relationship with the girl is interesting and deeply moving towards the end.
January 15, 2015
Peter O'Toole is the most dignified and endearing old slut
December 5, 2014
Glorious late-career performance by O'Toole.
Super Reviewer
August 12, 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.
½ June 21, 2014
A playful O'Toole never before seen in a dainty bittersweet life-affirmer about an elderly actor's unapologetic lusty pursuit in the twilight of his life.
January 12, 2014
Sorry .... I love Peter O'Toole; but I couldn't get past the nausea caused by seeing a septugenarian lusting after a girl decades younger.
½ December 27, 2013
Peter O'Toole playing out his last days on screen.
December 19, 2013
Despite the plot sounding like Harold and Maude, this is a different take on the theme of human and emotional connection and the need to receive and give affection. It is the tenderness and soul of Venus that makes it so touching. Quite possibly the last monumental performance by Peter O'Toole, that inexplicably still was not good enough to give him his Oscar, who plays the fragile seasoned charmer and reveals a close personal connection with the character.
½ October 26, 2013
What happens when actors grow old? They seek a comeback, and what a way O'Toole does so. Both touching and funny, especially when the trio get together.
October 25, 2013
O'Toole was brilliant in this dramedy!
Beware of leaving your young friends alone with your charming old friends... their encounters may stir up magic! :)
½ September 11, 2013
It's like Grumpy Old Men, except that one of the old men likes a young woman, but who doesn't?
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