Thursday, June 07, 2007

Venus: A Ten Point Review

  1. As an examination of an old, fading theater star’s obsession with a young woman, there are moments in the file that are phenomenally uncomfortable. That is actually a saving grace--it lends it a sense of honesty that could easily have been missed.
  2. It’s also funny as hell. At least, it’s funny when it isn’t almost painfully sad--and it switches between those two poles regularly.
  3. It’s lightweight, but actually fairly smart. It’s view of the elderly as well-rounded people, imperfect and with needs and desires, is more complete and touching than most movies that you’ll see.
  4. Peter O’Toole is, still, one of the finest actors in the world.  Not only is his voice beautiful, but the way he speaks is commanding. His phrasing, his laughter, that little gleam in his sunken eyes still draw in viewers in a way that few other actors of any age could manage. His face is so expressive that in the quietest, most still moments, he finds the perfect expression of fading life. He is an artist.
  5. That said, he looks a good bit older than is 74 years would suggest. 
  6. In fact, though, the performances are strong throughout.
  7. The cinematography is effective, if not exactly inspired.
  8. Irritatingly, I couldn’t find it at my local Blockbuster and ended up buying it on a trip to Barnes & Noble where I was picking up a book on PHP & MySQL (which is another story entirely).
  9. “God, he was gorgeous.” What a surprising line to bring a tear to the eye.
  10. Venus is strongly recommended, although it isn’t what I would consider a truly important movie. Just an awfully good movie with a number of excellent performances and one transcendent turn by Peter O’Toole. Beware, though: there are a few scenes that step right up to creepy in the odd relationship.

None of which changes the fact that this guy has great taste in blog posts. This young lady does, too.

Update: A much better review than my own, and from a respected voice. I did like the movie more than he did, but I’m a sucker for O’Toole.


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