Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. —Henry Fielding

03 July 2007


My friend Karen reminded me that I never talked about Venus, the Hanif Kureishi film from last year which was directed by Roger Michell and starred Peter O'Toole. In fact, it's the one film I've seen since January 2006 that I haven't talked about on this blog. Sorry for the meta-blogging, but I thought I would include the discussion of the film I had with Karen here:
It was so exactly what I expected from Hanif Kureishi, which means I liked its audacity and disliked its grotesquerie. His films always have this quality. They are so seedy and about such unlikeable people, and yet there is a humanity. And Kureishi actually likes his characters... a lot, unlike a scribe like, say (and I know I always berate him, but here I go again) Neil LaBute. As for Peter O'Toole. I don't get the appeal. I get why everyone likes him in Lawrence of Arabia and Becket and The Lion in Winter. I love him in those movies. But the rest of his oeuvre: it's all overhyped if you ask me.
I'm probably being unkind to O'Toole. It's just that films like My Favorite Year and The Stunt Man and The Ruling Class—each of which has seen O'Toole so highly-praised for his acting ability—all left a sour taste in my mouth, as though his acting were a kind of comment on acting or comment on his own persona as a star. Zzzzz. That said, I rather liked him in Venus and in Ratatouille (go see it!). And, truth be told, I liked Venus a lot better than I liked The Mother, the last Kureishi film that Roger Michell directed.

Sorry this post is about five months late. Oops.