Up at the Villa (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

Up at the Villa (2000)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: A poor script and an aimless plot keep this film from engaging the audience.

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Movie Info

A woman left alone by the death of her husband finds her love life has become suddenly and dangerously complicated in this drama. Mary Panton (Kristin Scott Thomas) is a British woman living in Italy in 1938 who has been financially ruined by the death of her husband. Edgar (James Fox), an aging diplomat, asks Mary for her hand in marriage, and while she doesn't love him, she longs for the security of a husband and asks for a few days to consider the proposal. The next evening, Mary is invited to a party by an American socialite known as the Princess (Anne Bancroft); there, Mary meets Rowley Flint (Sean Penn), a rough-hewn and cocky American who is intrigued by her. Mary also feels drawn to Rowley, but their personalities clash, and they end the evening in an argument. Mary impulsively spends the night with Karl (Jeremy Davies), a young musician who played at the party. In the cold light of day, Mary decides that her fling with Karl is best left as a one-night stand, but Karl insists that he's fallen in love with her, and he melodramatically kills himself. Mary, desperate, calls upon Rowley to help her hide the body; he agrees, and soon they are both being questioned by local fascist leader Leopardi (Massimo Ghini) about Karl's disappearance. Up at the Villa was adapted from a novella by W. Somerset Maugham.

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Cast

Sean Penn
as Rowley Flint
Anne Bancroft
as Princess San Ferdinando
James Fox
as Sir Edgar Swift
Jeremy Davies
as Karl Richter
Derek Jacobi
as Lucky Leadbetter
Massimo Ghini
as Beppino Leopardi
Dudley Sutton
as Harold Atkinson
Roger Hammond
as Colin MacKenzie
Clive Merrison
as Archibald Grey
Linda Spurrier
as Hilda Grey
Ben Aris
as Colonel Trail
Anne Ridler
as Lady Trail
Anne Bell
as Beryl Bryson
Barbara Hicks
as Lulu Good
Gretchen Given
as Isa Mackenzie
Mary Shipton
as Dowager
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Critic Reviews for Up at the Villa

All Critics (59) | Top Critics (21)

IF Keenan Ivory Wayans had directed this movie, it would have probably been called Up at the Villa, the English Patient on the Razor's Edge wrote The Letter. It also would have probably been a lot more entertaining than this wan adaptation.

January 1, 2000
New York Post
Top Critic

The story line, full of malevolent fascists and romantic entanglements, isn't particularly invigorating.

January 1, 2000
Newsday
Top Critic

For novelty value, you can do worse than seeing Sean Penn in a rare chance to don evening-wear on screen, but this isn't a sight to sustain a two-hour haul.

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

The question is, why should audiences care? Apart from some beautiful scenic photography, this film gives them little reason to.

January 1, 2000
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Up at the Villa is just lots of silly intrigue.

January 1, 2000
Mr. Showbiz
Top Critic

Beauty and bloodlessness battle it out in every frame of Villa, and no one comes out a winner.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Up at the Villa

I miss watching decent periodic films, with beautiful scenic spots & solid-acting cast. Although this one was not really good already, looking rather old fashioned by looking back today.

WS Wu
WS Wu

I had almost forgotten how dashing Sean Penn used to be quite a few years ago. The combination of Kristin Scott Thomas, and Sean Penn, is quite good in this nice little period drama. Slow moving...but nice.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

½

I think this movie would have worked better if there had been some real chemistry between Sean Penn and Kristin Scott Thomas, but there was none, and it's not the sort of thing you can force, but the lack of made the movie and fantastic cast all fall flat. Too bad.

Aimee Trickett
Aimee Trickett

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