Blu-ray and DVD Reviews

Venus

Reviewed by: Scott Chitwood
Movie Rating:
5 out of 10
Extras Rating:
6 out of 10
Movie Details:
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Rating: R

Starring:
Peter O'Toole as Maurice
Leslie Phillips as Ian
Jodie Whittaker as Jessie
Cathryn Bradshaw as Jillian
Vanessa Redgrave as Valerie
Richard Griffiths as Donald

Special Features:
Feature Commentary with Director Roger Michell and Producer Kevin Loader
Deleted Scenes
Venus: A Real Work Of Art

Other Info:
Widescreen (1.85:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Running Time: 95 Minutes

Synopsis:
The following is from the official DVD description:

"Academy Award® nominee Peter O'Toole (2006 Best Actor) leads a powerful cast to deliver a charming and poignant portrayal of Maurice, an aging veteran actor who becomes absolutely taken with Jessie – the grandniece of his closest friend. When Maurice tries to soften the petulant and provincial young girl with the benefit of his wisdom and London culture, their give-and-take surprises both Maurice and Jessie as they discover what they don't know about themselves. Featuring brilliant performances from a superb supporting cast, 'Venus' is a witty and wise celebration of how the greatest lessons in life can come from the most unlikely places."

"Venus" is rated R for language, some sexual content and brief nudity.

Mini-Review:
I wish I could say something great about "Venus," especially considering it earned Peter O'Toole an Academy Award nomination, but I can't. Not only was it agonizingly slow, but it featured a dirty old man lusting over a girl young enough to be his granddaughter. (Sound like a Anna Nicole kind of love affair?) While some people may find this charming, I found it a bit hard to watch. And the fact that Maurice attempts to woo Jessie while wearing a catheter bag drives home the fact that this is a May / February-of-the-following-year romance.

All that aside, Peter O'Toole does deliver a unique performance. He shows a lot of energy and even manages to throw in some physical humor. It's definitely a memorable performance for the 75-year-old actor.

I'd really only recommend this film to fans of Peter O'Toole and anyone that likes independent films. Everyone else will probably be bored or repulsed by it.

This DVD has your standard offering of bonus features. First up is a Feature Commentary with Director Roger Michell and Producer Kevin Loader. Unfortunately O'Toole doesn't join in. It is followed by 4 minutes of deleted scenes. None of them are particularly noteworthy. Rounding things out is the 14 minute featurette "Venus: A Real Work Of Art". It's your standard 'making of' video containing interviews with cast and crew, behind the scenes footage, and other such stuff. They discuss shooting in London, filming scenes in the cold weather, the casting, and other shooting challenges.

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