is thankfully less churlish in tone than
The Mother, but the picture is unfortunately more mechanically structured. Whittaker may be a spry actress, but we don't really understand how she mesmerizes Maurice. Besides O'Toole's lovely work here, the only pleasures in
are tangential to the actual story. Watching the bittersweet exchanges between O'Toole and Vanessa Redgrave, as his former wife, call up memories of a generation of British actors whose graceful style is quickly becoming a distant memory. There's more true art in their fragile moments than anywhere else in the film.
Cast: Peter O'Toole, Leslie Phillips, Jodie Whittaker and Vanessa Redgrave
Director: Roger Michell
Screenwriter: Hanif Kureishi
Producer: Kevin Loader
Rating: R for language, some sexual content and brief nudity
Running time: 95 min.
Release date: December 20, 2006 NY/LA