Monday, July 20, 2009

Films of the 00s: Up at the Villa

Having favorably invoked it amidst my rather vehement slagging of Chéri, I thought this might be an opportune moment to check back on things Up at the Villa, and to see whether Kristin, Sean, Anne, Jeremy, Derek, and those nutty Haases were indeed as deserving of my counter-consensus affection as I remembered. The answer is a newly qualified yes:

"I still agree with the spirit and drift of this review, even if a second viewing and nine years' accumulated experiences makes me a tad less sanguine about the filmmaking and a bit blanched about a few of my earlier overstatements. My frequent recourse to the language of 'satire' and phrases like 'whale of a good time' are likely to oversell the verve and implied joie de vivre.... And yet, in its wittiest moments, the film deliciously restores me to my initial plane of enthusiasm, no less so for operating more subtly than I communicate in this write-up." (keep reading...)

As you'll gather from this excerpt, I've eschewed a full reappraisal in favor of a codicil added to original write-up. Since almost no one ever talks about the movie, and even fewer seem to give it a fair shake, I hope you'll consider both the original piece and the amendments as encouragements to rent. Who doesn't want to go to Italy with Kristin Scott Thomas, Sean Penn, and a pair of smart, subtly cheeky auteurs?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Though I have not really seen this film again since I saw it on its initial release, what I remember most, besides the fact that I enjoyed it, was how badly edited Anne Bancroft's last scene is and how, otherwise, she might have, with the right advertising push behind it, garnered a supporting actress nom.

5:30 AM, July 23, 2009  

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