Venus


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"



Philip French

Scripted by Hanif Kureishi at his most misanthropic and laboriously directed by Roger Michell, Venus is a singularly disagreeable movie about the perceived terrors of old age and the horrors of youth. Peter O'Toole, aged 74, plays Maurice, a once-celebrated actor who has betrayed a succession of women and his God-given talent, and now hangs around drinking in a north London cafe with his ageing thespian chums, Ian, played by Leslie Phillips, 82, and Donald (Richard Griffiths, 59). It's like an urban, less congenial Last of the Summer Wine into which Jessie (Jodie Whittaker), a monstrous young woman intrudes, speaking with the irritatingly flat north country accent of Daphne in Frasier. Even more misogynistically portrayed than the daughters in John Osborne's Inadmissible Evidence and Deja Vu, she's the unwanted daughter of Ian's niece, and proves to be boozy, chain-smoking, idle, surly, exploitative, ignorant, foul-mouthed and lacking in dress sense.
Despite Jessie's shortcomings, Maurice takes a shine to her and decides to undertake her education, which brings to mind a couple of sad, funny lines from Philip Larkin's poem, 'Administration': 'And girls you have to tell to pull their socks up/Are those whose pants you'd most like to pull down.' There ensues another of those transgressive, or inappropriate, love affairs that characterise most Kureishi texts, in this case a one-sided business between a vindictive, unresponsive girl and an elderly, impotent man - a grotesque mixture of Of Human Bondage, Pygmalion and Woody Allen at his most embarrassing. Of course, there can be no sex, and when the old voyeur touches her or tries to watch her bathe and dress, he's met with a thump, an insult or a sneer. She does, however, let up at one point, sticking her hand down her knickers at a cafe table and offering Maurice her finger to smell. Later she undergoes some sort of conversion, but it's too little, too late, sentimental and unconvincing.
Venus - Maurice's nickname for Jessie, derived from the voyeuristic nature of Velazquez's Rokeby Venus - shrivels up when placed beside such honest, humane studies of old age as Ozu's Tokyo Story and Kingsley Amis's Ending Up, and it doesn't in my view feature one of O'Toole's better performances. The locations - the National Gallery, the Actors' Church in Covent Garden, the Garrick Club, the Royal Court Theatre, Kenwood, and Kentish Town - are its strongest suit.

boozy- pijacki, mający skłonność do alkoholu
chain-smoking- nałogowo palący
chum- bałwan, dureń
congenial- przyjazny; pokrewny duchem
derive from- czerpać z, pochodzić od
disagreeable- przykry, nieprzyjemny
ensue- następować, wynikać
exploitative- wykorzystujący
foul-mouthed- wulgarny, ordynarny (o sposobie wyrażania się)
hang around- obijać się, wałęsać się
idle- leniwy, bezczynny
inappropriate- nieodpowiedni, niewłaściwy
intrude- wdzierać się, narzucać się
laboriously- mozolnie
misanthropic- mizantropijny
misogynistically- mizoginicznie
monstrous- okropny, potworny
perceived- postrzegany
shortcoming- wada
shrivel up- usychać, kurczyć się
singularly- niezwykle, wybitnie
sneer- szyderczy uśmieszek
succession- szereg, seria
surly- gburowaty
takes a shine to somebody- od razu kogoś polubić
thespian- aktorski
thump- grzmotnięcie, walnięcie, uderzenie
unconvincing- nieprzekonywający
undertake- podejmować się (czegoś)
unresponsive- obojętny, niewrażliwy
vindictive- mściwy
voyeur- podglądacz
voyeuristic- typowy dla podglądacza, podglądacki


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