A Five Star Life (2014)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Modest to a fault, A Five Star Life is worth seeing chiefly for Margherita Buy's marvelous work in the central role.

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Movie Info

A Five Star Life is the sophisticated and delightful story of one woman's quest for personal and professional fulfillment set against some of the most stunning cities and opulent hotels of the world. Stylish and independent, Irene (Margherita Buy) is a single career woman in her forties with a job to die for. As a luxury hotel critic, she checks into the world's finest establishments incognito to assess their standards, meticulously judging every detail from the concierge's manners to the temperature of the food to the quality of the bedsheets. Her elegant, unattached lifestyle affords her the freedom to jet around the globe at a moment's notice to experience a world of luxury, but doesn't leave her with much of a personal life. On the rare occasions she's not working, Irene's world revolves around her absent-minded sister Silvia (Fabrizia Sacchi), two lively young nieces, and best friend--and former lover--Andrea (Stefano Accorsi). But when Silvia begins to deal with marital problems and Andrea faces an unexpected life change, Irene's small support network is fractured and she struggles to balance a glamorous career with the growing desire for something more. After a chance meeting shakes up her worldview even more, she's compelled to reexamine her choices and charts her own path to happiness despite the expectations of others. Described by The Hollywood Reporter as "part Up In The Air, part Eat Pray Love," A Five Star Life is a warm and heartfelt trip worth taking. (c) Music Box Films
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Art House & International , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Alessia Barela
as Fabiana
Lesley Manville
as Kate Sherman
Carolina Signore
as Eleonora
Diletta Gradia
as Claudia
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Critic Reviews for A Five Star Life

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (14)

A collection of carefully rendered details does not a movie make.

Full Review… | September 10, 2014
San Diego Reader
Top Critic

Flatly told and highly familiar.

Full Review… | September 4, 2014
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Its refreshing conclusion is more suited to ambiguous European sensibilities than the all-American desire for happy endings or at least concrete resolutions ...

Full Review… | August 21, 2014
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

There is a warm naturalness to the dialogue, and Buy is wonderfully evocative.

Full Review… | August 21, 2014
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

A frothy romantic comedy tinged with melancholy and yearning.

Full Review… | August 14, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

One of those rambling European films with little plot but lots of atmosphere ...

Full Review… | August 7, 2014
Detroit News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A Five Star Life

One person's happiness, is not always the same as another's. This was a key lesson I learned in A Five Star Life's final moments. A lesson I take to heart.

solidity quark
solidity quark

"Up in the Air" meets "I Am Love," but with a nice feminist twist where the female protagonist doesn't actually need a man to be happy. That's how I'm billing "A Five Star Life" ("Viaggio Sola," or "I Travel Alone," in the original Italian) and I'm sticking to it! In this visually sumptuous (sponsored by "The Leading Hotels of the World!") coming-to-terms-with-life story about a visually sumptuous middle-aged woman - an amazing Margherita Buy ("We Have a Pope") - we meet Irene (Buy), a luxury hotel inspector who travels the world for an agency that rates five-star hotels to determine whether they still deserve all five of those stars. Along the way, she is forced to rate her own romance-free child-free life and determine the best path forward. On the one hand, it's a beautiful movie, buoyed by Buy's magnificent performance, and like "The Trip to Italy" and "Magic in the Moonlight" offering the viewer the aesthetic delights of gorgeous locations that (somewhat) make up for flaws in the screenplay. On the other hand, however, those flaws accumulate to the point where the script and characters become too schematic: conversations between Irene and her sister, and Irene and her former lover feel overwhelmingly expositional; a late arrival to the story - a British feminist intellectual - is inserted into the plot, it seems, merely to force Irene into self-awareness. Still, there's something to be said for elegantly presented and marvelously acted eye candy, and you could do worse than spend 85 minutes (blessedly short!) watching Margherita Buy traipse through some of the most stunning hotels in the world.

Christopher Llewellyn Reed
Christopher Llewellyn Reed

Solid 4/5 stars. Imagine... not s single shot fired, no guns, no in-your-face hypergymnastic sex. Nope... just a very pleasant diversion with sensational scenery and good looking people telling a simple story very aptly.

Carl Palminteri
Carl Palminteri

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