Cover Art and Menu: 8/10
I like the cover. It’s calm and inviting. It also does something most DVD art doesn’t do these days, it tells the story of the movie in one simple image. The menu is standard with a still image and navigation. It’s an understated film, so the package doesn’t need to be overly dramatic.
Extras & Features: 7/10
- Commentary With Director Roger Mitchell & Producer Kevin Loader – I love this movie, so it can only get better when listening to the director talk about it, but then again, he does that Hollywood thing with some schmoozing about his cast:)
- Deleted Scenes – I think I’m getting a little bored with deleted scenes, or maybe just in that “whatever” state of mind on the subject. Some of the scenes are just extended versions of what was in the final cut of the film.
- Venus A Real Work Of Art Featurette – Excellent feature with some behind the scenes, but more about how the movie was made, the cast was chosen, and it does give even more perspective on the idea of a story about growing old.
The Movie: 9/10
I’m in love. Yes, there’s the husband over there who I adore, however, there is a kind of film that really makes my toes tingle. Venus is just that kind of movie. Old men getting older and youthful selfish indulgence, both excellent subjects to criss cross and see what happens.
First of all, Peter O’Toole is one of the old men, and he is old, not a lot of make up needed to bring that fact to reality. I say, BRILLIANT! I love stories that dip our little toes into the waters of something a bit different from the standard hero/villain saga, goofy comedy, sugary sweet and safe love story full of the boring chiseled and perfectly manufactured beauty we all get shoved in our collective face by the film industry.
Venus is about a man and a woman, yes. An old dying man and a young difficult chick come together and find something in each other that bonds them together. No, it’s not about a kind of old man who gets his groove back by banging some barely legal female. He never looks younger, she never grows up, so it’s not about them having some kind of miraculous life changing experience with each other. They both are who they are, no compromise.
They make some choices in their lives that are a direct result of knowing each other, but they still are the same characters they were when they first met. They both have troubles, demons, a degree of selfishness, and bad decisions in their pasts. They understand each other, in a way I have not seen in a film before, and I dig that.
He’s an ailing old ex-ladies man who abandoned his family who has always and will always put his own pleasure before other people’s needs. She’s a young but troubled selfish woman who also feeds her own needs with no regard for how her choices might cause someone else pain or suffering. A match made in script writing heaven:)
Every person is amazing. The performances are flawless. O’Toole is charming and engaging, and gives a look into a life after 80 that we don’t get to see from most of the big egos in the film world. Vanessa Redgrave does the same, with her up close and personal shots that do not shy away from her age, rock on!! Jodi Whitaker, Venus, is wonderful. I can’t wait to see her in more movies. Thankfully I’m married to a British dude so I have more access to the latest offerings of BBC films and other gems from the UK.
I love this movie. It’s sweet and uncomfortable at the same time. It pulls up some new feelings and thoughts about life, which is quite an accomplishment for a film, since I thought I already knew it all!
I do think this movie is an excellent example of a quiet but powerful film in a world of big blockbuster noisemakers. I just don’t think most people will find the $20 investment would give them enough bang for their buck. It’s a fantastic rental, perfect for your online list/queue. If you are a Peter O’Toole fan, add it to your collection without hesitation.
Overall Score 8/10