Sunday, February 04, 2007


Today I saw Venus, starring Peter O'Toole.

It's an unconventional love story about a young girl named Jessie (Jodie Whittaker) who moves in with her elderly great-uncle to help him around the house and develops a friendship with his equally elderly friend Morris (O'Toole).

The friendship crosses the line by way of neck sniffing and shoulder kisses, but in a wierd way it's not as bothersome as it sounds. Some have compared this movie to Lolita and I can understand why, but the main difference is that the heroine in this story (Venus) is of consenting age.

Peter O'Toole's performance has been hailed as one of the finest in 2006. I can't disagree with that, but he still doesn't get my pick for the Best Actor Oscar. I believe he's deserved it on many occasions, but this is not one of them. Here he is perhaps portraying the closest thing to himself rather than his competitors in the category (Gosling as a drug-addict; DiCaprio as a diamond trader from another continent; Whitaker as a dictator; Smith as a poverty-stricken dad). It's true this is probably his last great role, but to me that doesn't warrant a statue.

Overall, the film is pleasant enough to watch save for the moments of discomfort during a few borderline sexual scenes. An element of sweetness ultimately saves it, but I suspect seniors will embrace this film more than the average thirty/fortysomething viewer.

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