TELLURIDE, Colo. -- This may very well be Peter O'Toole's swan song. Not his last movie, but probably the last one he'll be remembered for. And what a way to go. Venus is an utter delight. O'Toole plays an elderly well-known actor who nurses an erotic interest in his best friend's 18-year-old niece. He befriends her, and she eventually takes to him, and their relationship develops in the most charming and disarming ways. This is a very funny movie. Most of the great moments come from O'Toole, whose comic timing and manicured brio are as lucid and present as ever (some of his pratfalls and antics hearken back to My Favorite Year). Fine supporting work all around, especially by Leslie Phillips. Roger Michell, the director, is batting nearly .1000, in my book. Did I mention Vanessa Redgrave is in the movie too? In limited release Dec. 15.
Spotted: Laura Linney coming out of the Venus screening at the Sheridan Opera House. She was a festival honoree two years ago, and rumor has it that she bought a house in Telluride. She's luminous in person, but in a very normal, lovely way. Peter Bogdanovich -- who was crossing the main drag shortly after -- is not. He looks like a llama crossed with some sort of reptile. Good God: While working the concessions at the opera house, who lumbers toward me in the dark, looking for his reserved seating for the screening of The Italian? Forest Whitaker. I about sh*t my pants. Afraid he was going to string me up by my ribcage with metal hooks, I found someone else to assist him. Upcoming: An assessment of Volver and a re-assessment of Penélope Cruz. Plus, the new Capote flick Infamous is an unmitigated disaster! Stay tuned.
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