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Up at the Villa

Up at the Villa ★★½ 2000 (PG-13)

The British and American expatriate community in 1938 Florence is the setting for the unlikely romantic travails of respectable British widow Mary Panton (Scott Thomas). She is courted by longtime (and older) friend/diplomat Sir Edgar (Fox) who will offer her a comfortable if dull life in India. But at a party, Mary is paired off with confident American Rowley Flint (Penn), who must unexpectedly help Mary out of a jam involving a dead body. However, politics also plays its part with the rise of fascism. Scott Thomas and Penn may not have any romantic sparks but they do well individually and Bancroft is an amusing scene stealer as a wealthy socialite. Based on a novella by W. Somerset Maugham. 115m/C VHS, DVD . GB Kristin Scott Thomas, Sean Penn, Anne Bancroft, Derek Jacobi, Jeremy Davies, James Fox, Massimo Ghini; D: Philip Haas; W: Belinda Haas; C: Maurizio Calvesi; M: Pino Donaggio.

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