Italian Soap
Up at the Villa
Review by Ross Anthony

Pretty British widow living among rich ex-pats in 1930's Italy ponders marriage with boring older gent, while Sean Penn (rich, married, wild) seeks her affections.

An odd role for Penn, though a fine actor, this film doesn't draw out his best. Decent acting by all, good direction and cinematography, but besides a few interesting plot twists, mostly a lukewarm picture.

If you're determined to see it, show up fifteen minutes late and avoid the slow getting-to-know-the-characters sequence.

However, there's a masterful moment on which I'd like to comment, but this reveals a twist you shouldn't know before you see the film: click here if you still would like to know.

  • Up at the Villa. Copyright © 2000. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Sean Penn, Anne Bancroft, James Fox, Jeremy Davies, Derek Jacobi.
  • Directed by Philip Haas.
  • Screenplay by Belinda Hass (Based on the novella by W. Somerset Maugham.)
  • Produced by Geoff Stier at October/Intermedia/Mirage/Buchthal.


Copyright © 2000. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:43:52 PDT