Peter O’Toole, the man is 75, and for me this is the man deserving the Oscar for best Actor this year. It’s really delightful that “older” (what is “older” anyway) actors are doing so well at the moment. Judi Dench, Meryl Streep, Hellen Mirren, Bill Nighy, Hugh Laurie all are in the picture, and now there is Peter O’Toole in Venus.
And he is absolutely marvelous as the older man who is in the last stage of his life (and knows it), but still has lots to learn, and does so from a girl who is about 18. She does learn a lot from him too. It is on the edge calling it a love affair, though Maurice certainly loves her, she makes him feel alive again. The girl is obviously flattered by his attention and kindness. It is a very heartwarming film, with lots of laughs in the first half, and less of them towards the end. Not because the film fades out, but because life isn’t always funny, and this is a film about life, about standing at the beginning of it, and about getting to the end of it. Peter O’Toole’s Maurice is lovely, a gentleman, lovely accent and heartbreaking. He is a beautiful man to watch, also being as old as he is, and it is great to see him in a role like this.
If you like this film, you might want to check out The Mother, which is from the same writer. It’s about and older woman having a short (sexual) relationship with a much younger man. That younger man is Daniel Craig by the way, which makes the film even more watchable. This writer obviously likes to provoke us a bit, but I think that his scripts have a very human approach to life. And love. And when it comes to love, how important is age really?
Venus – 9.5/10, directed by Roger Michell, who also directed Notting Hill, and The Mother. Lots of good films coming out lately, but go see this one too.