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Venus (2006)

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

Director:

Roger Michell

Writer:

Hanif Kureishi
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter O'Toole ... Maurice
Leslie Phillips ... Ian
Beatrice Savoretti Beatrice Savoretti ... Waitress
Philip Fox Philip Fox ... Doctor
Lolita Chakrabarti ... Health Centre Nurse
Carolina Giammetta ... Health Centre Nurse
Jodie Whittaker ... Jessie
Kellie Shirley ... Royal Court Actress
Ashley Madekwe ... Royal Court Actress
Ony Uhiara Ony Uhiara ... Royal Court Actress
Cathryn Bradshaw ... Jillian
Joanna Croll ... Hospital Drama Family
Liam McKenna Liam McKenna ... Hospital Drama Family
Meg Wynn Owen ... Hospital Drama Family (as Meg Wynn-Owen)
Sam Spruell ... 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

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site | Official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 February 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Beнера See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£317,426 (United Kingdom), 28 January 2007, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$48,871, 24 December 2006

Gross USA:

$3,343,528, 6 April 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter O'Toole and Leslie Phillips (best friends in this movie) were both in the John Goodman comedy King Ralph. See more »

Goofs

In the newspaper fight scene in the restaurant, the waitress is seen about a foot behind Maurice as he is initially attacked. From the opposite camera angle, the waitress alternates between being missing or about ten feet away. See more »

Quotes

Maurice: This other man, the other man who loved you, was he not kind to you?
Jessie: He was kind, for a time. He promised me things. He bought me stuff. We had champagne and there were roses.
Maurice: Then you got pregnant.
Jessie: Does everyone know?
Maurice: It's happened to girls before.
Jessie: Then... then he stopped being kind. He went the other way. A long way that way. He were engaged. I didn't know. It wasn't a miscarriage. My mum called it that. It were an abortion. And she made me.
Maurice: Terrible.
Jessie: Yeah. Yeah.
Maurice: "Shall I compare thee to a ...
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Connections

Featured in The 64th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Slavonic Dances Op. 72, No. 2 in E minor: Dumka (Allegretto grazioso)
Composed by Antonín Dvorák (as Antonin Dvorák)
Arranged by David Arnold & Dave Hartley
Performed by Rolf Wilson, Simon Bags (as Simon Baggs), Dave Hartley
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
O'Toole's Still Got It
22 October 2006 | by evanston_dadSee 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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