Up at the Villa
The book Up at the Villa was made into the movie Up at the Villa.
Book details for Up at the Villa
In Up at the Villa, W. Somerset Maugham portrays a wealthy young English woman who finds herself confronted rather brutally by the repercussions of whimsy.
On the day her older and prosperous friend asks her to marry him, Mary Leonard demurs and decides to postpone her reply a few days. But driving into the hills above Florence alone that evening, Mary offers a ride to a handsome stranger. And suddenly, her life is utterly, irrevocably altered.
For this stranger is a refugee of war, and he harbors more than one form of passion. Before morning, Mary will witness bloodshed, she will be forced to seek advice and assistance from an unsavory man, and she will have to face the truth about her own yearnings. Erotic, haunting, and maddeningly suspenseful, Up at the Villa is a masterful tale of temptation and the capricious nature of fate.
Movie details for Up at the Villa
The movie was released in 2000 and directed by Philip Haas, who also directed The Music of Chance (1993) and The Blood Oranges (1997). Up at the Villa was produced by Polygram USA Video. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.
Actors on this movie include Kristin Scott Thomas, Sean Penn, Anne Bancroft, James Fox, Jeremy Davies, Derek Jacobi, Massimo Ghini, Dudley Sutton, Lorenza Indovina, Roger Hammond, Clive Merrison, Linda Spurrier, Ben Aris, Anne Ridler, Ann Bell, Barbara Hicks, Gianfranco Barra, Gretchen Given, Mary Shipton and Pierantonio 'Noki' Novara.
Based on a novella by W. Somerset Maugham, Up At the Villa finds Mary forced to take charge of her life after a one-night stand with an Austrian immigrant (Jeremy Davies) leads to tragedy. Sean Penn plays a cavalier American playboy who helps her out in the nightmarish aftermath. Both he and Thomas approach Haas's artful film noir with intentionally mannered performances that blur the line between internal and external experience. The result is a kind of midnight journey through minefields of the subconscious.
Still, the film is not without weaknesses: getting a fix on Penn's roughly sketched character, for instance, proves unsatisfying given his clichéd roguishness. And Haas seems to be plucking derivative ideas from everywhere: there's a strange stretch in the second act in which he goes out of his way to make a Hitchcockian film that really does look and sound like a Hitchcock film. While the result is eerie, you have to wonder why Haas would be so blunt about it. --Tom Keogh