Archive of films Venus / Venus

United Kingdom
2006, 95 min

Section: Horizons
Year: 2007

Before the curtain falls on an old actor for the last time, he falls in love with his best friend’s grandniece. The main role is played by Peter O’Toole, “an actor who’s brave enough to show himself as an old man, not to be afraid or ashamed of what it is to be old,” as the director says. The film was launched at the International Film Festival in Toronto.


Actors Maurice and Ian have been friends for ages. Every day they have breakfast together in a cafe, they go to the theatre together, to the club together, on walks around London together. The serene life of the two seventy-year-olds is upset however by the arrival of Ian’s grandniece Jessie - instead of the nice household helper they had expected, the old man begins sharing his home with a taciturn and sulky fallen angel. Disappointed and annoyed, Ian asks Maurice to take care of Jessie and give her a tour around the big city. Between the girl and the man in his declining years, a tender, and nonetheless shocking, relationship begins to develop. “I’m interested in the way passion sustains itself throughout one’s life and may even return at the end in some odd, almost perverse way”, says director Roger Michell. The film is the product of the director’s third collaboration with screenwriter Hanif Kureishi; their latest film together, The Mother (2003) deals with a love affair between a widow and her own daughter’s partner. The main role in the story, which was inspired by Junichirô Tanizaki’s novel Diary of a Mad Old Man, is played by Peter O’Toole.

About the director

Roger Michell (b. 1957, Pretoria) was born in South Africa, and grew up in Syria and Czechoslovakia. He was educated at Cambridge. At the end of the 1970s he began working in the Royal Court Theatre and then worked for six years as a director in the Royal Shakespeare Company until he turned to television in the 1990s. There he made a name for himself thanks to the serial The Buddha of Suburbia (1993), created with screenwriter Hanif Kureishi and producer Kevin Loader. Michell’s next successful title was an adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion (1995) followed by a television version of his own play run in the West End, My Night with Reg (1996). One of his greatest international successes was Notting Hill (1999). His filmography also includes Titanic Town (1998), Changing Lanes (2002), The Mother (2003), and Enduring Love (2004), which was screened at the KVIFF.


The Works Film Group
5th Floor, Fairgate House, 78 New Oxford Street, WC1A 1HB, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 612 1080
Fax: +44 207 612 1081

Bontonfilm, a.s.
Na Poříčí 1047/26, 110 00, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 257 415 111
Fax: +420 257 415 113

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Horizons
Director: Roger Michell
Screenplay: Hanif Kureishi
Dir. of Photography: Haris Zambarloukos
Music: David Arnold, Corinne Bailey Rae
Editor: Nicolas Gaster
Producer: Kevin Loader
Production: Free Range Films
Cast: Peter O’Toole, Leslie Phillips, Jodie Whittaker, Richard Griffiths, Vanessa Redgrave
Contact: The Works Film Group, Bontonfilm, a.s.
Distributor: Bontonfilm, a.s.


Clare Crean

Sales Agent

Aleš Danielis


Marek Jeníček

Distributor, Producer

Přemysl Martinek

Festival Organizer, Film Institution Rep.


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