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Venus (I) (2006)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 10,487 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 106 user | 140 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

Life for a pair of veteran actors gets turned upside down after they meet a brash teenager.

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Title: Venus (2006)

Venus (2006) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Ian
Beatrice Savoretti ...
Waitress
Philip Fox ...
Doctor
...
Health Centre Nurse
Carolina Giammetta ...
Health Centre Nurse
...
...
Royal Court Actress
...
Royal Court Actress
Ony Uhiara ...
Royal Court Actress
...
Jillian
Joanna Croll ...
Hospital Drama Family
Liam McKenna ...
Hospital Drama Family
Meg Wynn Owen ...
Hospital Drama Family (as Meg Wynn-Owen)
...
Hospital Director
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Storyline

Maurice Russell, once a great actor, is now living in London in the twilight of his life. Those of his generation remember him fondly, while those in the younger generations have no idea who he is. He spends most of his time hanging out with his friends Ian, also an actor, and Donald, or visiting with his wife Valerie for who he has great affection but with who he no longer lives. His acting career is virtually over, he only taking roles on the odd occasion when he needs the money. Ian has decided to invite his young great-niece Jessie from the provinces to come and stay with him, basically to act as his caregiver in case he falls ill, but also to be his companion. He envisions listening to Bach with her and her cooking him food to which he is accustomed. Jessie's stay is nothing as he envisions. She doesn't know how to cook, she drinks all his alcohol, and she has unrealistic visions of what she will accomplish in her life. Maurice, however, sees in Jessie, a person who can help him ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

actor | friend | painting | money | food | See All (167) »

Taglines:

The most acclaimed actor of his generation in the role of a lifetime

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexual content and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

26 January 2007 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Beнера  »

Box Office

Budget:

£3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£317,426 (UK) (26 January 2007)

Gross:

$3,343,528 (USA) (6 April 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hanif Kureishi said that 'Junichiro Tanizaki''s novella, Diary of a Mad Old Man, is the inspiration behind the story. See more »

Goofs

Unsynchronised, bad edit at roughly 51 minutes, 10 seconds. The voice of Jessie can be heard saying "No Maurice I'm not going out" but her lips aren't moving, in fact she's just started to sip from her glass. See more »

Quotes

Donald: What is this, catheters at dawn?
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Véritable Prélude Flasques (pour un chien)
Composed by Erik Satie
Performed by Dave Hartley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
O'Toole's Still Got It
22 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I strongly suspect that Peter O'Toole, in his new film "Venus," plays a character not far removed from himself. This may prevent his performance from joining the ranks of some of his greatest cinematic achievements, since it probably didn't provide as much of a challenge to him, but that's not to say that he isn't marvelous in this film, and shouldn't be commended for taking on this brave and unflattering role so late in his career.

In "Venus," O'Toole plays Maurice, a famous stage and screen actor pushing 90, who's struggling mightily to prevent his days from slipping into the routine loneliness of old age. He's on friendly terms with his wife (Vanessa Redgrave, who has a couple of wonderful moments in this film), who he walked out on years ago, but never sees his children, who haven't forgiven their father for deserting them. The time he doesn't spend at doctors' offices or willing himself to get out of bed every morning he spends with his cantankerous best friend, a fellow actor, reminiscing about their best roles.

When the friend takes in his niece's sullen daughter as a live-in assistant, O'Toole immediately finds himself in love with her, or at least in love with the idea of her, and the two strike up an awkward, and at times most uncomfortable relationship of sorts.

What distinguishes "Venus" from other stories like it is the nature of the central relationship. This is no sweet, chaste friendship a la "Lost in Translation." For one, the age difference here is much greater. But beyond that, the relationship between Maurice and his Venus is distinctly sexual. It's clear that Maurice would go as far as Venus will allow, which isn't far, but is far enough to have made me squirm a bit in my seat at moments. For her part, Venus uses her beauty, and her knowledge of Maurice's desire for her, to her advantage, receiving gifts in return for her "favors." The film establishes both Maurice and Venus as somewhat unsympathetic characters, which prevents the film from becoming too maudlin. But there's also a great reserve of kindness in both of them, and each enables that to come out in the other. In the end, each of these characters is a bit better off for having known the other.

"Venus" is slow moving, and it's not a profound film. But it is refreshingly free of pretense, and it provides one with the chance to see Peter O'Toole, one of my favorite actors, showing the world that he's still got it after all these years.

Grade: B+


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