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Peter O'Toole , Leslie Phillips    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Venus + The Mother [DVD] [2003]
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Product details

  • Actors: Peter O'Toole, Leslie Phillips, Jodie Whittaker, Richard Griffiths, Vanessa Redgrave
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Miramax
  • Run Time: 95 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004JI6GDE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,607 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave, disturbing and rather wonderful 2 Oct 2007
By Jaybird
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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 18 Aug 2008
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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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Death in "Venus" 26 May 2007
"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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Umm...
I am so glad I got this from the library and so didn't waste any money but unfortunately I wasted 90 minutes of my time. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jenny
5.0 out of 5 stars lovely film
great film. great to watch this alongside Dean Spanley to see a master actor at work. brilliant all round film.
Published 7 months ago by clarestclare
3.0 out of 5 stars O'Toole's Performance Lifts it from the Pedestrian
Peter O'Toole, the highly-esteemed British/Irish actor who has just passed, (Lawrence of Arabia, The Lion In Winter ), received a well-deserved 2006 Oscar nomination for the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Stephanie De Pue
5.0 out of 5 stars Venus
A typically British film, with great actors in the best roles and who can ask for more than the great Peter O'Toole.
Published 12 months ago by LES JOHNS
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous Film
A real must have in the library. Interesting story and just a little bit different. A lot of laughs as well as some thoughtful moments. Highly recommend it. Peter O'Toole amazing
Published 12 months ago by C.McDee
5.0 out of 5 stars Venus with Peter O'Toole
A film to linger in the consciousness long after viewing, it was by turns, funny, sad, sensitive and witty. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Artyguy
3.0 out of 5 stars VENUS DVD
Not sure about this one yet but it is a Region 1 DVD and I don't believe this was mentioned in the description. Slightly inconvenient but can get around it
Published 12 months ago by John S. Hutchinson
4.0 out of 5 stars Grown-Up Lolita and Octogenerian Suitor
I could watch Peter O'Toole reciting the telephone directory, and his performance is wonderful in this film. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Arachne202
5.0 out of 5 stars Venus [DVD] [2007]
When I first saw this film I thought it was a totally brilliant film and has so many classic British Actors who make this film such a beautiful experience and is a must for anyoe... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Andrew C. Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing yet strange film ?
Looooovvveeee thisssss film.. :) watched it one night with my grandad, & then purchased it from a trusted amazon seller (zoverstocks) ,I buy ALL my dvds from there,although the... Read more
Published on 11 Sep 2012 by Laura Cooper
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