Up At the Villa

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Released 2010

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Movie Summary

Director:
Philip Haas
Released:
2010
Rating:
PG-13
Up At the Villa is a 2000 historical drama about life in Florence, Italy in the days leading up to World War 2. Based on the novel by W. Somerset Maugham, the story centers on Mary Panton (Kristin Scott Thomas), a widow with an uncertain future. Left penniless by her husband's gambling, she considers accepting a marriage proposal from an elderly diplomat, Sir Edgar Swift (James Fox) for security even though it would mean moving to Bengal. Then, at an elegant dinner party thrown by Princess San Ferdinando (Anne Bancroft), Mary meets two very interesting but different men: a cocky American Rowley Flint (Sean Penn) and a sensitive musician Karl Richter (Jeremy Davies). Mary's decision to spend the night with Flint results in unexpected complications that brings Beppino Leopardi (Massimo Ghini), the fascist police chief of the locality, to investigate her. Philip Haas ("Angels & Insects") directs this blend of romance and politics.

Metacritic Score

  • 70

    Variety Derek Elley

    This least affected of their (Haases) movies is also the most dramatically and emotionally convincing.

  • 50

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    It reminds us that Italy is beautiful, that Fascism was a dreadful nuisance and that Sean Penn is a great actor, deserving of better vehicles than this vintage lemon.

  • 40

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    The melodrama of the Maugham original is too simplistic to involve, and the places the film's plot goes are so obvious that even the presence of quality actors can't create suffici...

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    Categories

    Drama

    Themes

    Historical, Love & Romance