Wednesday, February 21, 2007


I went to the Trolley Square tonight (which was a little weird, the place was shrouded in an hushed quiet) to watch Peter O'Toole's Academy Award nominated performance in Venus.

O'Toole was amazing, which was to be expected, and the movie was pretty good, too.

It was a very literary-sort of movie that explored what seems to me the frustrating enterprise of getting old. O'Toole plays an old man (hardly a stretch at his age) that seems like he needs to be in touch with youth and women. As a retired actor of some note, you can tell that there are plenty of ladies in his past and the movie is his struggle to find relevance in his once-romantic life.

It plays like sort of a reverse-roled Harold and Maude, but I must say, I enjoyed this much more than I enjoyed Harold and Maude.

It's odd, really. In Harold and Maude, I never rooted for Maude to get Harold. And half of this picture it never entered my mind that I wanted Peter O'Toole to get the girl, but halfway through, when you realize what the quest for this young girl is more about so many other things, you want him to get all of it.

And pieces of the film are utterly heartbreaking.

I have to say, the filmmaking is acceptable, nothing fantastic. I was, however, quite impressed with the restraint the director showed in not revealing a picture of O'Toole's character in his youth until the end of the picture. O'Toole is such an icon and it would have been too easy to garner sympathy if we were reminded of the looks and grace he once had in real life. The one instance the filmmaker used an image of a young O'Toole was with heartbreaking effect.

The girl was good, too. And fairly pretty.

If I had to rate this film it would be a solid 7 out of 10. I was never for a moment disinterested, some of the jokes were humerous (nothing knee slapping) but it still seemed to lack something that made it a masterpiece.

It's worth seeing once, if you're an O'Toole fan and are interested in watching lecherous geriatrics search for meaning in the twilight of their lives.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Disinterested means not prejudiced, the word you were looking for is uninterested.