Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 32
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 32
  3. Negative: 0 out of 32
  1. 100
    A sublime meditation that is one of this year's wisest, warmest and funniest films.
  2. 100
    Venus is a magnificent tribute to actors by filmmakers who know they are the essential human material of theater and the screen.
  3. 100
    Told with wit, genuine poignancy and all kinds of humor, Venus charts the unlikely relationship between a man in his 70s and a young woman more than half a century his junior.
  4. 91
    A man can be a treasure just as a work of art can be, and O'Toole is one of the handful of living film actors worthy of a museum of his own. Venus would make a brilliant final exhibit.
  5. 90
    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.
  6. 90
    Venus may be a leering male fantasy, but it is also, improbably but persuasively, a love story as tender as it is transgressive. It's a wry celebration of the tyranny of beauty, and the tragicomic way in which desire outruns the betrayals of dying flesh.
  7. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    A heartbreaking comedy that is simultaneously funny and sad, raunchy and sweet, funky and elegiac. These fresh, unexpected juxtapositions are a specialty of the writer Hanif Kureishi ("My Beautiful Laundrette"), a sworn enemy of cliché.
  8. 89
    The quiet respect Venus displays toward lions in winter, defanged though they may be, is rare enough; the film's respect for unfinessed lionesses-to-be is rarer still. Wherever they're going, no one here is going quietly.
  9. Peter O'Toole, still a British cinematic lion at 74, performs another movie miracle in the Roger Michell-Hanif Kureishi film Venus.
  10. Peter O'Toole, looking frail beyond his 74 years, gives what may be his farewell performance as a leading movie actor in Roger Michell's Venus. It's one for the books - and maybe the Oscars, too.
  11. The great thing about Venus - apart from its sharp eye for the daily routines and drab details of senior citizenry in a buzzing metropolis - is that it isn't soppy, or sentimental.
  12. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    88
    Venus is rollickingly funny at times -- but there's an undercurrent of extraordinarily clear-eyed sadness.
  13. The screenplay is by Hanif Kureishi, who wrote "The Mother" for Michell and also scripted the classic "My Beautiful Laundrette." He has a feeling for outsiders.
  14. Venus is the second film from director Roger Michell and writer Hanif Kureishi to explore the sexual lives of folk that the movies treat as sexless -- the elderly. But where "The Mother" was a cold film of sexual greed and emotional pettiness, this robust yet delicate comic drama finds a kind of dignity in the old lothario whose vital life force struggles against a failing body.
  15. 83
    O'Toole is frail and probably won't make many more movies. So Venus is pitched partly as a fond farewell to a beloved artist, and his whole beautiful generation.
  16. 80
    The amazing thing about Venus is that it's brutally honest about all this but at the same time funny as hell.
  17. Reviewed by: Alan Morrison
    80
    A screen-acting showcase by a man whose best days, many thought, were behind him. There's life in the old dog yet.
  18. Reviewed by: Jim Ridley
    80
    Maurice, the protagonist of Venus, is a suit lovingly tailored to O'Toole's ravaged but commanding frame.
  19. 80
    Since the movie is about desire -- not so much for sex as for the vitality and surprise that sex can provide -- it is also about power. Few writers can match Mr. Kureishi's knowing wit on this subject, or his skill at dissecting the shifting dynamics of longing and domination.
  20. Awash in terrific performances.
  21. Director Roger Michell and writer Hanif Kureishi take a deeper, edifying interest in the moral ambiguities that arise between Maurice and Jessie. And thanks to our warm investment in both characters, we're more than willing to sign up for this existential ride. We allow this relationship -- and the movie -- to take us places we'd never usually go.
  22. This comedy drama is an exercise in self-indulgence for O'Toole, but an enjoyable and touching one.
  23. 75
    O'Toole gives a staggering performance -- fearless, defiantly untamed and in its own way a work of art.
  24. The suggestion that Peter O'Toole is playing some version of his real self in Venus adds a bittersweet poignancy to this quietly affecting British drama.
  25. 75
    Though O'Toole, whose ruined beauty Michell emphasizes in frequent and tight close-ups, and newcomer Whittaker have a striking rapport, the film's most haunting moments pair him with Vanessa Redgrave -- amazingly, this is their first movie together -- as his ex-wife. They evoke a lifetime of love, betrayal, regret and forgiveness in the space of a few lines, then move on without missing a beat.
  26. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Peter O'Toole's tour-de-force performance makes Venus a movie not to be missed.
  27. 75
    This is a brave movie because it addresses a subject Hollywood feels uncomfortable about.
  28. Like similar English comedies, it also teeters on the mawkish.
  29. Venus is worth seeing for the scenes between O’Toole and Vanessa Redgrave as the woman he abandoned--the mother of his children.
  30. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    Genuinely funny, randy and moving by turns, breezily enjoyable throughout.
  31. Venus has a swank pedigree, but in this case that doesn't mean it's much more than a quaint machine to elicit tears and awards.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. LindaL.
    Jun 5, 2007
    9
    I was braced for something sad and a little icky. Yes and yes, but "Venus" also is wise and touching and funny. It really makes you think about what's important in life. Also I want to mention the soundtrack -- the music of Corinne Bailey Rae is wonderfully enjoyable. Full Review »
  2. SuzanneA.
    Feb 10, 2007
    10
    Deeply touching, beautifully written, magnificently acted.
  3. AnnC.
    Jan 28, 2007
    9
    A delight, funny, poignant, film, a master class in acting.