Home      Discussion      Topics      Dictionary      Almanac
Signup       Login
Venus (film)

Venus (film)

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Venus (film)'
Start a new discussion about 'Venus (film)'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Venus is a 2006 British comedy-drama film starring Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole is an Irish actor of stage and screen. O'Toole achieved stardom in 1962 playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, and then went on to become a highly-honoured film and stage actor. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, and holds the record for most...

, Leslie Phillips
Leslie Phillips
Leslie Samuel Phillips, CBE is an English actor with a highly recognisable upper class accent. Originally known for his work as a comedy actor, Phillips subsequently made the transition to character roles.-Early life:...

, Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave
Vanessa Redgrave, CBE is an English actress of stage, screen and television, as well as a political activist.She rose to prominence in 1961 playing Rosalind in As You Like It with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has since made more than 35 appearances on London's West End and Broadway, winning...

 and Jodie Whittaker
Jodie Whittaker
Jodie Auckland Whittaker is an English actress, perhaps best known for her work in the film Venus . She also starred in the ITV1 series Marchlands playing the young Ruth who had lost her daughter Alice.-Career:...

. It is directed by Roger Michell
Roger Michell
Roger Michell is an English theatre, television and film director.-Personal life:He was born in Pretoria, South Africa but spent significant parts of his childhood in Beirut, Damascus and Prague as his father was a diplomat. He was educated at Clifton College where he became a member of Brown's...

 and written by Hanif Kureishi
Hanif Kureishi
Hanif Kureishi CBE is an English playwright, screenwriter and filmmaker, novelist and short story writer. The themes of his work have touched on topics of race, nationalism, immigration, and sexuality...

.

The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival
Telluride Film Festival
The Telluride Film Festival was started in 1974 by Bill and Stella Pence, Tom Luddy and Jim Card in the town of Telluride, Colorado, United States. It is operated by the National Film Preserve....

 and was put on limited release
Limited release
Limited release is a term in the American motion picture industry for a motion picture that is playing in a select few theaters across the country ....

 in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 on 21 December 2006.

Plot


The plot concerns Maurice (Peter O'Toole
Peter O'Toole
Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole is an Irish actor of stage and screen. O'Toole achieved stardom in 1962 playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, and then went on to become a highly-honoured film and stage actor. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, and holds the record for most...

), an elderly actor who finds himself increasingly attracted to his friend Ian's great-niece Jessie (Jodie Whittaker
Jodie Whittaker
Jodie Auckland Whittaker is an English actress, perhaps best known for her work in the film Venus . She also starred in the ITV1 series Marchlands playing the young Ruth who had lost her daughter Alice.-Career:...

) while simultaneously finding himself in deteriorating health due to prostate cancer. Maurice's friend describes the great-niece as a trouble maker and a nuisance, but Maurice discovers that Jessie warms up to him when he starts interacting with her. He takes her to the National Gallery
National Gallery, London
The National Gallery is an art museum on Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The gallery is an exempt charity, and a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media...

 in London, England to view his favourite painting, the Rokeby Venus, by the Spanish artist Diego Velázquez
Diego Velázquez
Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez was a Spanish painter who was the leading artist in the court of King Philip IV. He was an individualistic artist of the contemporary Baroque period, important as a portrait artist...

.

Jessie had expressed interest in modelling (Maurice initially mis-hears this as "yodelling") and Maurice arranges for Jessie to model nude for an art class. As a result of Jessie posing for the art class, and inspired by his favourite painting, Maurice decides to give Jessie the nickname "Venus". Maurice and Jessie develop a passive/aggressive relationship over the course of the film. Maurice is forward in terms of his attraction towards Jessie while Jessie occasionally indulges his whims to a limited extent, such as touching her hand and smelling her neck, but also retracts the indulgences when she feels that he has gone too far. The plot of the film revolves around the evolving friendship or relationship between the two characters. For Maurice, this appears to be the last attempt at something approaching a love life, as his prostate operation has left him impotent. For Jessie, it is less clear what she sees in Maurice. During the course of the film we see her do everything from exploiting him (trying to get him to buy her presents, trying to use his flat to have sex with a boy), taking care of him, flirting with him, and rejecting him sexually to engaging with him as a friend. During the course of the film we learn that she has been rejected by her mother and great-uncle for her promiscuous life style; it is implied that she is drawn to Maurice because he does not judge her as harshly as her family members have.

The plot comes to a head when Jessie becomes involved with a boy. The two young lovers convince Maurice to take a walk so that they can have sex. Maurice initially obliges the request, but returns to kick them out of his flat. A scuffle ensues and Jessie knocks down Maurice, injuring him. Jessie leaves with the boy and apparently spends the night out partying with him at clubs, later returning to check on Maurice. When the paramedics arrive, Maurice claims he cannot remember who attacked him, much to Jessie's surprise. Then Maurice calls for "Venus" to take care of him. Jessie, remorseful, agrees to look after Maurice. Some time later, after Maurice has at least partly recovered, he takes Jessie to the seaside
Seaside resort
A seaside resort is a resort, or resort town, located on the coast. Where a beach is the primary focus for tourists, it may be called a beach resort.- Overview :...

 at Whitstable in Kent. As they sit down by the water Maurice says to Jessie "Now, we can really talk", and dies, leaning on her.

Cast

  • Peter O'Toole
    Peter O'Toole
    Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole is an Irish actor of stage and screen. O'Toole achieved stardom in 1962 playing T. E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, and then went on to become a highly-honoured film and stage actor. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards, and holds the record for most...

     as Maurice
  • Leslie Phillips
    Leslie Phillips
    Leslie Samuel Phillips, CBE is an English actor with a highly recognisable upper class accent. Originally known for his work as a comedy actor, Phillips subsequently made the transition to character roles.-Early life:...

     as Ian
  • Jodie Whittaker
    Jodie Whittaker
    Jodie Auckland Whittaker is an English actress, perhaps best known for her work in the film Venus . She also starred in the ITV1 series Marchlands playing the young Ruth who had lost her daughter Alice.-Career:...

     as Jessie
  • Vanessa Redgrave
    Vanessa Redgrave
    Vanessa Redgrave, CBE is an English actress of stage, screen and television, as well as a political activist.She rose to prominence in 1961 playing Rosalind in As You Like It with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has since made more than 35 appearances on London's West End and Broadway, winning...

     as Valerie
  • Richard Griffiths
    Richard Griffiths
    Richard Griffiths, OBE is an English actor of stage, film and television. He has received the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Featured Actor and a Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor...

     as Donald
  • Cathryn Bradshaw
    Cathryn Bradshaw
    Cathryn Bradshaw is an English actress, perhaps best-known for her role in Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit.-Background:Bradshaw trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol and graduated in 1987.-Career:...

     as Jillian

Awards and reception


The film opened to generally positive reviews from critics. It was nominated for five British Independent Film Awards
British Independent Film Awards
The Moët British Independent Film Awards is an annual award ceremony celebrating achievement in independently funded British film and cinema. Nominations and jury are announced at the beginning of November with the award ceremony taking place in late November or early December.-History:The British...

 and earned Oscar
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

, BAFTA, Screen Actors Guild
Screen Actors Guild Awards
A Screen Actors Guild Award is an accolade given by the Screen Actors Guild to recognize outstanding performances by its members. The statuette given, a nude male figure holding both a mask of comedy and a mask of tragedy, is called "The Actor"...

, Broadcast Film Critics Association
Broadcast Film Critics Association
The Broadcast Film Critics Association is the largest film critics organization in the United States and Canada , representing approximately 250 television, radio and online critics....

 and Golden Globe nominations for O'Toole as Best Actor. Leslie Phillips also received a BAFTA nomination
Nomination
Nomination is part of the process of selecting a candidate for either election to an office, or the bestowing of an honor or award.In the context of elections for public office, a candidate who has been selected by a political party is normally said to be the nominee of that party...

 for Best Supporting Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Best Actor in a Supporting Role is a British Academy Film award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding supporting performance in a film...

.

O'Toole's Oscar nomination marked his eighth Best Actor nomination over a span of forty-five years. On 25 February 2007, at the 79th Academy Awards
79th Academy Awards
The 79th Academy Awards ceremony , honored the best films of 2006 and took place on February 25, 2007 at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on ABC. Ellen DeGeneres hosted the ceremony for the first time. The producer was Laura Ziskin. The announcers were Don LaFontaine and Gina Tuttle.The nominees were...

, he was beaten by Forest Whitaker
Forest Whitaker
Forest Steven Whitaker is an American actor, producer, and director. He has earned a reputation for intensive character study work for films such as Bird and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, and for his recurring role as ex-LAPD Lieutenant Jon Kavanaugh on the gritty, award-winning television...

 (The Last King of Scotland
The Last King of Scotland (film)
The Last King of Scotland is a 2006 British drama film based on Giles Foden's novel of the same name, adapted by screenwriters Peter Morgan and Jeremy Brock, and directed by Kevin Macdonald...

), making O'Toole's eight nominations without victory a record.

External links