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Parents' Guide to


By Pam Gelman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Superb acting on life's journey; not for kids.

Movie R 2006 91 minutes
Venus Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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Venus is a small-scale English production that's full of both reflective moments and witty, rapid-fire dialogue about mortality, the old days, and life's perpetual ambitions. O'Toole gives a powerful performance, his character gripped by the realization that his life is in its final chapter. Ultimately, Jessie makes some important positive changes in her life, her self-opinion, and her feelings about her older friend. But teens may not grasp the messages of self-discovery, and some may interpret it as "just" a movie about a dirty old man's fling with a youngster.

Venus has many merits and shouldn't be dismissed. It's a marvelous showcase for O'Toole, with stunning close-ups, perfect timing, and physical comedy that's as good as it gets. The depth, emotion, desperation, and affection of these moments are palpable and make it obvious that these performers are the masters of their craft. But no matter how much applause Venus earns for finally sexualizing an elderly character, having that sexuality focused on someone so young is awkward for any viewer, and even more so for teens.

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