Venus - Mighty Aphrodite

20th Century Fox
Duration: 95min
Category: Romance
Available: On DVD
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I want to be Peter O’Toole when I’m in my seventies.

Venus is the role of a lifetime for an actor who has already produced an amazing résumé. O’Toole plays Maurice, an actor who, at the end of his life, is vibrant and still enjoys a lust for life. He is a brilliant wit, a charming scoundrel, and still holds a hint of the gorgeous man he once was. I hope I have as much joie de vie as he does in this role.

In Venus O’Toole romances a young woman barely out of her teens. It seems unlikely, or maybe it’s just too taboo for our society, but in Venus, a finely crafted film, it is completely understandable.

Venus is filled with exquisite moments between Maurice and his Venus as well as between Maurice and his friends. Even more memorable are the moments between Maurice and his ex-wife, played by the equally amazing Vanessa Redgrave. One of the best moments of any film of the year is an almost wordless scene between the two of them. It’s breathtaking.

Venus is surprisingly funny. Sure there are a lot of the requisite old man jokes, but they are clever if not quite original. This is a laugh out loud funny film. It’s also touching sure, but not in a sappy or sentimental way. It’s touching in the way it inspires, not greatness, just pleasure.

At the centre of all this is the remarkable O’Toole. He really does embody the life of this character. He is at once stunning and funny. He is never tragic. He plays an actor and there are moments where his character is acting. But mostly, he is captivating, mezmorizing and utterly spectacular. It is easy to believe that Venus would not have worked without him in this role. He makes the film.

Venus is an intimate film that is very pleasing. I hope my life is as rich as it is reaching its end as Venus makes it seem possible.

Review By: Collin Smith

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