MovieChat Forums > Venus (2006) Discussion > So He WASN'T Just A Dirty Old Man Then?

So He WASN'T Just A Dirty Old Man Then?

I just watched this movie and I liked it, really I did. Very witty dialogue, very good performances. And yet I still found myself intensely creeped out by the relationship between the two main characters. It just looked like a crusty, selfish old pervert and a tarty, attention-seeking little girl.

I KNOW I'm missing something here, some deeper message, and I honestly want to be enlightened. I'm usually good with things like this, not so much with 'Venus'.

So could somebody please tell me, what EXACTLY was the point?

"I am weasel! I am weasel! I. AM. WEASEL!"


The point is that our senses do not die with age. We still retain a healthy regard for beauty and, yes, older people still have sexual needs.


Ah! Thank you very much for enlightening me. I still think they were creepy together, but thank you :-)


Take away the age issue, which is something people really do have to get over, and it's not remotly creepy


Hm. It does seem LESS creepy. But if Maurice happened to be around the same age as Venus, I'd still be put off by the whole nude modeling fiasco, and the smell my fingers thing. I suppose it is just typical male desperation...


How does "male desperation" come into the 'smell my fingers' thing?! In that scenario, it was SHE who was "desperate" to know that she was having an effect on him!

Men get blamed for the baser instincts of human nature just because stereotyping makes it the 'easy' thing to do.

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I actually agree with your "old pervert and a tarty, attention-seeking little girl" argument. I found the relationship quite creepy. I don't think you have to be comfortable with their relationship (or buy into to the "old people have sexual feelings too, isn't that beautiful" argument) to enjoy the film. She was creeped out, so why can't we be?


I can see why some people would feel creeped out, but I found myself seeing something further in the older character's feelings for this girl; his feelings for her were not merely sexual, even though they included sexual feelings. More than that, he was also drawn to her youth and beauty as an aesthetic pleasure, which is something a lot more poignant than merely lust for someone young and pretty. In my eyes he wasn't just some dirty old man as people here are saying, he was seeing in her whole being something much more than that. She represented his own youth.

If you ask any older person, they will tell you that the thing about aging is, it only happens to the body, but not to the inner spirit. In this sense, his interest in her is something much more eternal, universal, ageless. I felt very moved by the way he felt about her, and I felt sorry for how -- because to HER he was indeed only a crusty old perv in her eyes -- he had to beg for any scrap of permission to touch or kiss. In his younger days this same man would have been desirable to her. So, for me, this movie was actually about how it's a very strange, thin veil between acceptable feelings, desirability and even the ability to in fact desire. There's a lot of poignancy in this story; I cried for this man.

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Well said, Marzipan Girl, I believe yours is the most thoughtful comment on this thread.

For me, the movie acted almost as a mirror in respect to our modern acculturated ageism. It seems that relationships are free to cross all other boundaries of class, culture, religion, status, race and gender identity, so why should age - or more aptly, age difference - be considered an insurmountable barrier to personal happiness? Haven't the critics of this movie's premise heard of `human rights'? Or don't they ascribe them to old people?

When you see the ways in which our aged are disavowed, mocked, insulted, neglected, and abused it's pretty evident that there is something fundamentally wrong with attitudes of the (mostly) young.

What is `dirty' about an old man with sexual urges towards a young woman? At exactly what age does it cease to be clean? As both of these characters were above the age of majority they were surely free to choose their own lifestyles for themselves. In fact, the young woman here was a blatant abuser, but we learn, as the movie progresses, that she has herself been abused, and eventually grows to regret the treatment she has metered out.

As a measure of how perverse our culture has become; if these two people had been homosexual; most of the critical comments posted here could constitute a criminal offence. It's long past time that the elderly enjoyed the same statutory protection.


I'm a mere ten years younger than O'Toole, and yes, his character was being a dirty old man. Anyone can recognize it. But, as long as she was willing to continue whatever they had together, all's fair. She turned into someone who could actually care, under his influence, you could say.

My employer died 18 months ago at age 88. I'm still taking care of his estate until it sells. He was opposite of the Peter O'Toole character. He was a dirty old man from whom nothing good at all eminated.

In the movies, it's different. Real life sucks. That's why they make movies. I don't think anyone is missing anything here.


I remember my dad saying, when he was 80 years old. . ."What's a young guy like me doing in this old body." That about sums it up. We age physically, but mentally and emotionally we may be feeling the emotions we felt as a teenager!


'It just looked like a crusty, selfish old pervert and a tarty, attention-seeking little girl. '

Yes - on the surface it did. But the beauty of the film is that it showed how things went beyond this. Maurice realised he had been selfish in the way he'd treated his wife, and tried to find her forgiveness. He was rejuvenated by the company of a young girl.

Venus realised that there was more to life than eating pot noodles and dating sovereign-ring wearing chavs - that caring for others could be fulfilling and that there was a world of culture and sophistication outside her own narrow provincial viewpoint.


I really don't think his love for her was all that beautiful or complex. He cared for her emotionally as well as physically, yeah, but at the same time, all he seemed to care about was that she was young and hot.

Throughout most of the film, her personality was absolutely vile! You can make the argument that he was somehow able to see early on that there was more to her, but frankly, I think any hot young girl would have had the same effect on him.


He recognized all that he was now. Something about her made him remember how others had been drawn to him. It made him 'live' again, and also able to revisit his life.

At the same time, he wasn't always trying to get her alone. He recognized she didn't have to settle for some common little creep, and let her life slip away.
He encouraged her to reach as far as she might wish.