I do wonder how much O'Toole put of himself into the elderly actor he was playing. I daresay it was an easy role to play, probably even a joy to do. My favourite scene was a little one where he visits a very famous church in London where several deceased actors have plaques in memoriam. And then he and his friend (played by Leslie Phillips) hear this string quartet practicing in the church, and they begin to dance. It could've been very cheesy, but these two old men dancing together actually seemed to have this almost magical quality to it.
The 'Venus' of the title was played by Jodie Whittaker, and it was probably one of the strongest performances, probably because most of her screen time was with O'Toole and Phillips, and I suppose you really need to hold your own when you're acting alongside such men. What a great debut performance though. Phillips and Richard Griffiths play O'Toole's best friends, and were also excellent (Phillips in particular, who as Jessie's great-uncle was wonderfully cantankerous), and Vanessa Redgreave plays his wife. Redgreave and O'Toole had wonderful chemistry together, and in an interview O'Toole said that they were friends and that he had wanted to work with her.
Some bits of the film could be considered a bit squeamish (it's a film about an old man's relationship with a teenage girl, so that might be expected), but it was just a beautiful little film. I hope O'Toole wins tomorrow, I really do.