But today I watched Venus, the film Peter O'Toole was counting on to make an honest man out of himself, to earn a real Oscar, to complete his set of Oscar bookends. Of course, he didn't go home with the gold, and I was left wondering if he wasn't a bit gypped.
Perhaps some voters thought it wasn't much of a stretch for an old man to play an old man, but his performance was so nuanced in places, so subtle, it's too bad that there wasn't a tie in that Best Actor envelope.
Once it was over, what really struck me was what making the film must have been like for Jodie Whittaker. From what I can glean from her IMDb page, this was her feature film debut. Can you imagine? Your first film and you're starring opposite Peter O'Toole?!
It's a film that's at once sweet and sad. It made me really think about the plight of the elderly, how lonely they feel, but it also set me to wondering what it's like to be an advanced age. (I hope to find out for myself someday.) I know that the older I get, the more I'm surprised by how I don't really feel older, so what must it be like to find yourself in your 70s or 80s in a body that's much less agile, in skin that's much less supple, with hair that's much more grey? Do older people feel as though their bodies have outrun their spirits? Do they still feel young inside?
Regardless, O'Toole doesn't seem to be slowing down. On his IMDb page, he has seven projects completed or in production since Venus. Maybe he'll earn that second Oscar after all.