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Up at the Villa

The movie Up at the Villa was based on the book Up at the Villa.

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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.

 

Read More About This Movie

Strangely reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, Philip Haas's Up at the Villa is a similarly insulated psychosexual drama detached from the larger world yet with consequences well beyond itself. As with Kubrick's final masterpiece, Up at the Vi... Read More
Strangely reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, Philip Haas's Up at the Villa is a similarly insulated psychosexual drama detached from the larger world yet with consequences well beyond itself. As with Kubrick's final masterpiece, Up at the Villa is constructed around a self-centered character whose insecurities about marriage set a disastrous chain of events into motion. Kristin Scott Thomas plays Mary Panton, a comely Englishwoman staying at a villa in Florence, Italy, in the late 1930s. Sheltered by the goodwill of the British and American community there, Mary--with little money and few prospects for survival outside marriage--dithers over her uncertain destiny and dreams of independence.

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

Book details for Up at the Villa

Up at the Villa was written by W. Somerset Maugham. The book was published in 1941 by Vintage. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

W. Somerset Maugham also wrote The Painted Veil (1925), Theatre (1937) and The Razor's Edge (1944).

 

Read More About This Book

Now a major motion picture from USA Films starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Sean Penn, and director Philip Haas (director of Angels and Insects).In Up at the Villa, W. Somerset Maugham portrays a wealthy young English woman who finds herself confronted ra... Read More
Now a major motion picture from USA Films starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Sean Penn, and director Philip Haas (director of Angels and Insects).


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.