A Simple Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

A Simple Life Reviews

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Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ August 24, 2014
In "A Simple Life," Ah Tao(Deannie Yip) has been employed by the family of Roger(Andy Lau), a film producer, for decades. Then, one day she has a stroke. Roger pays for her care. With both sensing the end is near for her, he starts looking for a retirement home. Luckily, he knows the owner of one, and is able to cut a deal for a single room for her.

While it may not seem like much happens in "A Simple Life" with its deliberate and episodic approach, it is beneath the surface that it is mostly of interest. Namely, it is concerned with life in Hong Kong where as one character points out the population is getting older. On a general note, it is also about family and how it intersects with work, as Roger is about the only family Ah Tao has near her while Roger does seem a little spoiled for a man his age.
March 27, 2013
This is a relatively slow-paced movie showing the relationship between a young Chinese man and the housekeeper who took care of him and his family for 60 years. Ah Tao has a series of medical misfortunes and just as she cared for him as a boy, he cares for her in her old age. The best thing about the movie is how it depicts what must be the ordinary Chinese living in Hong Kong. But also the relationship that exists between these two people is lovingly played out. Recommended.
½ February 10, 2013
A lovely movie about aging, maturing, and learning to care for others. Never brash or broadly sentimental in its message, it succeeds by focusing on the essential details of living and being a good person. Andy Lau's character works in the Hong Kong film industry and it's fun bonus game to try identifying the abundant cameo appearances.
½ June 4, 2014
Is this artsy or just plain bland? What unique insights did this film give? Maybe part of the problem was Deannie failing to convince me as a very old woman.
October 26, 2014
A fantastic drama which certainly deserves much more attention.
Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ August 24, 2014
In "A Simple Life," Ah Tao(Deannie Yip) has been employed by the family of Roger(Andy Lau), a film producer, for decades. Then, one day she has a stroke. Roger pays for her care. With both sensing the end is near for her, he starts looking for a retirement home. Luckily, he knows the owner of one, and is able to cut a deal for a single room for her.

While it may not seem like much happens in "A Simple Life" with its deliberate and episodic approach, it is beneath the surface that it is mostly of interest. Namely, it is concerned with life in Hong Kong where as one character points out the population is getting older. On a general note, it is also about family and how it intersects with work, as Roger is about the only family Ah Tao has near her while Roger does seem a little spoiled for a man his age.
August 7, 2014
"A Simple Life" is one of the best Asian drama films I have seen. It is based on the real story of two real persons - one a young film producer called "Roger", the other a maid called "Ah Tao" who has raised him since childhood, and who is now nearing her end. Their relationship is simple, nothing out of the ordinary. And yet it is so meaningful, so dear, so important to them. The film illustrates well how such a typical, simple relationship can be more profound than those strange, twisted, complex relationships told so often in novels.

Throughout the film, neither Ah Tao nor Roger goes out of their ways to pursue and foster this relationship. They both continued to live their semi-separate lives, kept apart by the constraints of modern life in Hong Kong. And yet it was the small things they do to each other - not any heroic act or passionate expression - that are really meaningful. This makes the story very natural and true to our life.

In this story there is no villain. This should not be surprising. Villains are artificial constructs, and so deserve no place in a film that purports to be realistic. It is an illusion that evil deeds and bad events must be caused by villainous intentions. Most of the time they are caused by nature, social structure, and stupidity.

Above the level of personal relationship, "A Simple Life" also tells us how hard it is to be an old person in modern society. That the modern world is hostile to old people, and to family relationships, is not just conservative gibberish. It is a fact. (It need not be, but on the whole at present I think it is.)
April 27, 2014
A masterful and smart film about ageing. It didn't do anything for me.
½ April 20, 2014
Absolutely moving, but understated rather than overblown. The two leads are great, and so are the direction and cinematography.
½ April 3, 2014
I wonder how much we miss culturally in this movie, especially crossing socioeconomic barriers. It's a great look at one type of elder care in Hong Kong. It is strikingly similar to U.S. efforts, which means it is still sad. This is a nice and honest look at an evolving servant/employer relationship.
½ January 7, 2013
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars; Grade: A-; Gesture: Two Thumbs Up; Status: Significantly Terrific (Fresh); Emoticon: :-D.
February 9, 2014
Story told of the untold.
January 31, 2014
52 nominations, 33 awards
Won the Best Actress Award at the 68th Venice International Film Festival
January 17, 2014
The title says it all, it's a simple, but perhaps also one of the most realistically beautiful film in cinema. A simple life has such a simple premise and plot, it does not use gimmick or twist, but simply use real emotion and some of the best acting to tell a powerful story. Deannie Yip delivered one of the most powerful performance in the year, her subtlety was real and grounded, which fits the movie perfectly. It's a movie that focus on miss Tao's life, and its up and downs. She was not blessed with a good start in life, but she has no regret, and lived the fullest with what she was given. In the end, it ended on a sudden notes, but i think that was the point, because life is short, and the last scene also gave me the constant warmth i feel during the entire film. Simply put. one of the best chinese film i have seen.
½ January 4, 2014
Makes you want to rethink, well ...everything
December 3, 2013
Thank you Netflix for allowing films like this to come into my world. I am humbled and touched by the incredible soul of the film. Ann Hui has proved that its not in the story but in the telling that craft lies. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
March 27, 2012
Sounds touching and wonderful
October 5, 2013
A simple yet wonderful film
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