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Up at the Villa [DVD]

Kristen Scott Thomas , Sean Penn , Philip Haas    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
Price: £3.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Up at the Villa [DVD] + In Your Hands [DVD] + Leaving [DVD] [2009]
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Product details

  • Actors: Kristen Scott Thomas, Sean Penn
  • Directors: Philip Haas
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Transition Digital Media
  • DVD Release Date: 21 May 2012
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,666 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Kristin Scott Thomas plays Mary Panton, an Englishwoman staying at a villa in Florence, Italy, in the late 1930s with the country gripped in Fascism. 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 leads to tragedy. Sean Penn plays a cavalier American playboy who helps her out in the nightmarish aftermath.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Way too much spare time 18 Mar 2005
UP AT THE VILLA illustrates the mischief one can get into when burdened with too much spare time.
Mary Panton (Kristin Scott Thomas), a widowed Brit whose husband recently died after squandering their fortune, blast his eyes, is residing in 1939 Florence. Chamberlain has just sold the Czechs down the Vltava, Mussolini is getting uppity, and war appears likely. Panton lives UP AT THE VILLA, the owners of which, friends of Mary's, are away. Mary spends her idle time swanning about with fellow expats and contemplating the not entirely welcome offer of marriage recently tendered from the aging, but rich, Sir Edgar Swift (James Fox), who's expecting any moment to be named the new Governor of Bengal.
One evening, Panton attends a lavish dinner put on by her friend, the Princess San Fernando (Anne Bancroft), which comes off swimmingly except for a wretched example of entertainment for hire by a refugee Austrian musician, Karl Richter (Jeremy Davies). Later, Mary almost runs the man down with her car, and subsequently invites him back to the villa for a meal. Feeling sorry for the young fellow's miserable life, and wanting to show him a good time, she sleeps with him believing it'll be no more than a one time tryst. But, he returns the next night and forces himself upon her while professing his undying love. After Panton rejects his advances, Richter kills himself with a pistol given by Swift to Mary for her protection in these unsettled times. So now, what's a poor girl to do with an inconvenient corpse, especially as Sir Edgar is soon due back and anticipating her answer to his proposal?
UP AT THE VILLA isn't a bad film so much as just unengaging. Panton is so imprudent and so lacking any real purpose in life that it's hard to care what sort of predicament she gets herself into.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tell Me This Was Released Direct to Video 6 April 2011
By Stephanie De Pue TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"Up at the Villa," This romantic period drama is set in gorgeous, pre-World War II, Tuscany, Florence and Siena, Italy, as Benito Mussolini and his Fascists are coming to power. It was based on a novel by W. Somerset Maugham, and stars Kristin Scott Thomas as Mary Panton, a beautiful, 35-ish, penniless English widow forced by circumstance to consider the proposal of an aging diplomat, Sir Edgar Swift, played by James Fox (The Remains of the Day [DVD] [1993]). When, at one of the dinner parties thrown by Princess San Ferdinando (Anne Bancroft,The Miracle Worker [DVD] [1962] ), Mary's seated next to Rowley Flint, a brash, rich and married young American (Sean Penn, an Oscar winner for Milk [DVD] [2008]), a dangerous chain of events starts to unfold. At any rate, Mary is eventually left to remember a passionate night in the company of refugee Karl Richter, played by Jeremy Davies,Spanking the Monkey [DVD]; and must cover up an inconvenient, likely to be scandalous death.

The location photography is fine, and cars, interiors, clothes, conversation, and drinking habits are all appropriate to the era, and well done. It all must have cost a pretty packet. Furthermore, the menace of coming fascism, and war, has been made palpable. Scott Thomas is as good as ever: I for one have admired her since
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Read lot's of W Somerset stories when I was young.....liked his way of telling a story and I think this movie captures the essence of his pen.....actors all good.....well worth a watch...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent adaptation 5 Jan 2013
By Agnetha
Not enough films like this get made these days. It`s not big and splashy and it`s not contemporary. It`s a well-written, superbly acted period piece of life among the English speaking community in Florence just before WW2 under the facists. Sean Penn and Kristin Scott-Thomas are at their best with fine performances. Also special mentions to Anne Bancroft and Edward Fox.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By bernie VINE VOICE
Yes, I know you know it is not the book. But I have to say so. So here it is "It is not the book" Now that being said some movies capture the essence of a book. This is not one of them. Some movies have characters that look or at least act like the book. This is not one of those movies. Some moves stick to the story line and do not adlib for dramatic sake. Again this is not one of those movies.

So now we know what it is not. What is it? This movie is stilted and more like an adaptation from a play. Forgetting about the book stuff, the characters work O.K. With the exception of Sean Pen who looks more like a bum with a bad rug on his head. He distracts from the character that he is supposed to be playing. Some movies are paced slowly to give you time to absorb the flavor of the location and people. This movie is just paced slowly. I will not tell you of the disappointing conclusion other than to say ... You guessed it. It is not like the book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My review on Up at the Viila
A wonderful film with an interesting story.

A magnificent performance and English accent of Kristian Scott-Thomas.

Florence's landsacapes were very pretty.
Published 12 hours ago by Ivone Cristina Nunes Ribeiro de Magalh„es
2.0 out of 5 stars dumb
Really stupid movie. i bought because i trust scott thomas and penn, who can both really act to make a good movie but sadly this is not one. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ms j ruskin
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Story
A great prewar story and interesting characters.
The acting was all excellent. The photography was very interesting to me as well.
Published 1 month ago by Sue Polansky
5.0 out of 5 stars stylish
very stylish, very, very clever. wonderfully entertaining. perfect attention to detail in the sets and impecable acting. paefectly located in time.
Published 3 months ago by jayne
3.0 out of 5 stars chick flick
Not a film to rave about, a little long winded in parts and not what I thought it would be
Published 3 months ago by Mrs. M. R. Wheeler
4.0 out of 5 stars Kristen Does It Again
Kristen Scott Thomas again shines in this expose of ex-pats living in Italy on the brink of World War II. Sean Penn is a surprise addition to the cast.
Published 8 months ago by Blue 63
3.0 out of 5 stars Up at the villa
John Malkovich resumes his persona aka "Dangerous Liaisons " as a Machiavellian but older, world weary fixer (with interruptions). A treat.
Published 8 months ago by Bignoides
5.0 out of 5 stars Up at the Villa
This is a film which was made at the beginning of the year 2000. It takes place in Italy, Florence when Mussolini was in power and Hitler was about to invade Europe. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Visa
3.0 out of 5 stars Conflicted
I did - to a certain extent - enjoy this version of Somerset Maugham's book despite flaws. I did not like Kristin Scott-Thomas as Mary - she was very "brittle" and as one other... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Alice J. Dilli
3.0 out of 5 stars Film good CD quality bit 'iffy'
The film was very good - as expected of a Somerset Maugham story, but the quality of the CD itself was 'iffy' as it was 'jumpy' for the first 1/3rd of the film
Published on 16 July 2011 by longstocking
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