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An aging pair of veteran English actors whose success never quite took hold finds their quiet existence suddenly interrupted by the arrival of one of the men's precocious grandnieces in director Roger Michell's affectionate comedy drama. Maurice (Peter O'Toole) and Ian (Leslie Phillips) may still land the occasional paying gig -- Maurice has recently been cast as a corpse in a popular television drama -- but for the most part, their days are spent cataloging their ailments over meals at their favorite café. Though the arrival of Ian's grandniece Jessie doesn't immediately… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"O'Toole spent so many years being better than the little material that he was offered that it's heartening to see him sprint toward the finish of his career with such a flourish. If this is his curtain call, it's a glorious one."
‑ Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel
"The best tunes are played on the oldest fiddles, they say, and Peter O'Toole, 74, proves the point in Venus."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"A starring vehicle for an aging star who receives deafening awards buzz not so much for the performance than, it seems, for simply being alive."
‑ Michael Dequina,
"While age may have devoured O'Toole's youth, it has been utterly unable to touch his blistering talent, or his eyes which still sparkle with rakish light."
‑ Brandon Fibbs,
"Una comedia dramática agridulce donde brilla con luz propia el formidable Peter O'Toole, en un papel que tiene mucho de sí mismo."
‑ Enrique Buchichio, Uruguay Total
"If only [director] Michell's film actually said something about aging, and didn't feel the need to include Grumpy Old Men shtick and bland bossa nova-inflected pop."
‑ Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
"Venus is a fine reminder of the wonders we're presented with every day."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"It's a pleasure to have Peter O'Toole's company here - likely for the last time in a role of such magnitude & majesty, bangs still swept back in boyish wisps and his sky-blue eyes vibrant and hungry. A loving, lyrical, eloquent sonnet to elderly sunsets."
‑ Nick Rogers,
"The only thing that resonated with me was O'Toole, who is at his playful best playing a role made to order for him of the boozer rascal who could charm a snake."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"There is consequently an authenticity to the movie that's intensified by O'Toole's expectedly masterful performance..."
‑ David Nusair, Reel Film Reviews
"Venus belongs to O'Toole. This is, hands down, my favorite performance of the year, largely because I love the way O'Toole (and the filmmakers) refuse to yield to the all-too-pervasive idea that it's 'icky' for old people to even think about sex."
‑ Stephanie Zacharek,
"Venus is emotionally affecting, not because O'Toole's Maurice is coping with mortality, but because of the honest way he confronts it."
‑ Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press
"Worth seeing for O'Toole's incorrigible twilight jesting"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Superb acting on life's journey; not for kids."
‑ Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media
"What makes Venus unforgettable is not the fine direction and script, or Vanessa Redgrave's startling cameo as Maurice's suffering ex-wife, or Whittaker's award-worthy debut; it's that the viewer can't draw a line between O'Toole's career and Maurice's."
‑ Brandon Judell, New York Theatre Wire
More reviews for Venus on Rotten Tomatoes