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Venus [DVD]

Price: £4.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Frequently Bought Together

Venus [DVD] + The Mother [DVD] [2003] + Le Week-End [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Peter O'Toole, Leslie Phillips, Beatrice Savoretti, Philip Fox, Jodie Whittaker
  • Directors: Roger Michell
  • Producers: Kevin Loader
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 25 April 2011
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,114 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Hanif Kureishi-penned comedy drama starring Peter O'Toole and Leslie Phillips as Maurice and Ian, a pair of veteran actors who never quite hit the big time and now find themselves in their 'Golden Years'. They continue to work, though the jobs are far from glamorous. Their comfortable routine and witty banter over breakfast in a favourite place is disrupted by the arrival of Ian's grand-niece, Jessie (Jodie Whittaker). Jessie quickly tries her great-uncle's patience; but Maurice is absolutely taken with the young woman and proceeds to show her the cultural sights of London. As Maurice tries to give Jessie the benefit of s experience, he is surprised to discover how very little he knows...

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Jaybird on 2 Oct. 2007
Format: DVD
Venus is the story of an aging actor and his friends, coming to terms with their mortality. Maurice (in a wonderfully understated performance) falls in love with his best friend's great niece,Jess, a confused, selfish, immature 19 year old played by Jodie Whittaker.

It is to Whittaker's credit that her performance stands up so well in amongst the likes of O'Toole, Vanessa Redgrave and Leslie Phillips in particular.

Both Maurice and Jess undergo real journeys in this film. Maurice's attention and insight give Jess the confidence to open her horizons. She learns the value of kindnesses in an unkind world. Maurice takes real pleasure in watching her grow, it distracts him, but also gives him pause to reflect on the pain of unrequited love. As he reviews his life, in the light shone by this difficult relationship, he slowly comes to terms with his inevitable demise.

A lot of reviewers are put off by the creepy nature of the (very slightly) physical scenes - all I can say is that they are meant to be disturbing. Maurice is no more a cuddly grandpa than Jess is a sweet, innocent child. What is extraordinary is how sympathetically they are handled.

All I can say is that this is certainly a love it or hate it film; it is so divisive because it is genuinely shocking to see a watery eyed old man pawing a beautiful young girl, and to witness her confusion and discomfort. But not many films have something real to say about old age and dying, so be prepared but do watch it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By L. M. Vernon on 18 Aug. 2008
Format: DVD
This film is amazing. The acting is superb and story very moving. It manages to be happy, sad, funny and uplifting all at once. The 'disturbing' moments work and are integral to the story. I choose to look at it as rather than him being a dirty old man, he's just the same man he always was, a womaniser, in an old body. Wonderful, a must see.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Mark Barry HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Aug. 2007
Format: DVD
This could have a groan to watch, even pervy (it actually is in places) but it's still an absolute gem.

While Peter O'Toole grabs the lion's share of attention, there are many other reasons why this so works. One of them is a stunning turn from Leslie Phillips who up until now has been all but a National joke in Britain (in the nicest way - he's been acting since the Fifties in light-hearted and often bawdy British comedies). The two together are never anything less than brilliant. Phillips knows he's up against real acting talent, but every time he matches it with his most brilliant and layered performance ever. And he's subtle too. Their scenes together are worth their weight in gold.

Part of the reason is the fantastically funny, observational and touching script from Hanif Kureish which should have pulled a statue. There's a scene where two nurses are chatting over Peter O'Toole - one sticking a needle in his arm in some god-forsaken National Health Service room - and they just don't see him - he might as well not be there - why - because he's old - and therefore doesn't count anymore. It immediately cuts to him in the next scene at home - head lowered - sat on the side of a bed - hurting at the realisation of his aged fate. Then he slaps his own face three times and tells himself to "get up you old fu**er" and get on with life! O'Toole can suggest so much with even a glance. Both scenes are crushingly sad, but say so much by using so little. It's fantastic writing.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By F. S. L'hoir TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 26 May 2007
Format: DVD
"Venus" is a parable about the inevitability of time and the impermanence of love. The story is a variation on the theme of the dying man, smitten with lost youth and opportunity, which is revived----ever-so-briefly----via the persona of a beautiful young creature. In this manner, the aging actor Maurice--played with subtle poignancy by Peter O'Toole--who is captivated by the attractive, but rough-about-the-edges niece of another old actor and friend, is reminiscent of the aging composer Aschenbach, who yearns for the beautiful--and unobtainable--young Tadziu in Visconti's "Death in Venice." "Venus," in fact, portrays the unsatisfactory scenario of what might have occurred had Aschenbach realized his relationship with Tadziu. Like "Venice," "Venus" connects Love with Death, who, cast in a cameo role, overtakes its protagonist on a lonely beach. Unlike "Venice," however, "Venus" casts no sunset glow on the dirty business of dying alone, with a catheter tube and bag strapped to one's leg, or as a helpless victim of violence.

"Venus," however, is laced with laughter as well as tears, as when the two once-famous thespian friends make the rounds of their old London haunts, including a church with the memorial plaques to long-dead actors, such as Laurence Harvey. When Maurice notes that the church is running out of wall space for such commemorations, his friend Ian--played with equal professionalism by Leslie Phillips--tells him wistfully that "Ian" is a very short name. One of the most touching lines, though, comes when the two revisit their elegant Edwardian club--apparently frequented by actors--and Ian remarks that he loves coming to the place, because it reminds him so much of what he might have been.
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