A Five Star Life
A Five Star Life
| 24 April 2013 (USA)
A Five Star Life Trailers

Single and middle-aged, beautiful Irene (Margarita Buy) is wholly devoted to her job as an inspector of luxury hotels. Constantly on the road, she indulges in expensive pleasures at impeccable resorts, but always incognito and alone, soon escaping to the next exotic destination with her checklist and laptop in tow. When her best friend and ex, Andrea (Stefano Accorsi), who has always been a source of emotional support, suddenly becomes unavailable, Irene is thrown into a deep existential crisis. "Luxury is a form of deceit," she is told by a fellow traveller in the fog of a steam room, and thus begins Irene's quest to bring more meaning into her life.

Reviews
Listonixio

Fresh and Exciting

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Ariella Broughton

It is neither dumb nor smart enough to be fun, and spends way too much time with its boring human characters.

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Fleur

Actress is magnificent and exudes a hypnotic screen presence in this affecting drama.

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Dana

An old-fashioned movie made with new-fashioned finesse.

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dierregi

This simple story explain very well that we have one life to live as we choose, although sometimes we might doubt about our decision and we should be ready to revise them, as age advances.This is our journey and we should not be influenced by conventions to choose a "normal" life. Besides, as shown in the film, there is nothing great in living the "normal" life, especially if you feel you are not cut out for it.Irene chose to inspect luxury hotels for a living and travels most of the time. She could have a stable relationship, proved by the fact that she is very friendly with her ex and meets him regularly, but for the sake of the narrative, we must assume she cannot have it.Her sister Silvia leads the "normal" life, married with a couple of kids. However, she does not seem ecstatically happy. In fact, she has all the "normal" problems of middle aged people: a boring marriage; growing kids; loosing her attractiveness, etc...Irene suffers a panic attack following a fleeting connection with another guest at a luxury hotel. The false sense of security a luxury hotel may give is briefly debated, but my personal opinion is that it is still better to sleep in a 5 star hotel than under a bridge - so I am not a fan of the social commentary, but it is a sideline.This is for me a simple tale about the meaning of life. One should understand that your life has the meaning you give to it and that there is no right or wrong. Good movie, anyway...

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Paul Creeden

"Viaggio Sola", known on Netflix as "A Five-Star Life", is a window into the evolution of global feminism. This European production exposes the isolated work life of a single middle-aged woman in a world where femininity is still defined by heterosexual mating and child-bearing. It also exposes the lifestyle of the global 1% who stay in 5-tar hotels. I found it interesting that it was sponsored by a luxury hotel chain. Zooming out from the details of the film gives a clear view of the have-vs-have-nots world we in corporately controlled nations occupy. The relatively bourgeois main character is sandwiched uncomfortably between the haves and the have-lesses. She is sandwiched between those living conventional lives and those living above the fray. Her compatriots, those who actually work in the luxury hotels, are also her enemies and servants, since she is a spy, posing as a guest. I recommend it. I have noticed it has garnered mediocre critical reviews. I have to wonder if this relates to its challenge to conformist materialistic ideals in conformist materialistic times. I also speculate that American viewers cannot relate to its European worldliness.

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Larry Silverstein

This is an intelligent and well-crafted film with fine acting, a sharp script, at times humorous with some surprises along the way, and ably directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi. I thought the characters were well developed and believable, as well as the movie being beautifully shot via it's cinematography.Margherita Buy is superb as Irene Lorenzi, employed by a publication as a mystery guest, where she travels the globe examining luxury hotels to see if their standards are up to a 5-star rating. She's very thorough and conscientious in her job, but begins to realize that years are passing, and that she remains quite lonely.Irene is unmarried and has no children, and except for her best friend Andrea (Stefano Accorsi), with whom she had a relationship with some 15 years before, her sister Silvia (Fabrizia Sacchi), brother-in-law Tomasso (Gianmarco Tognazzi) and her two nieces, she has no intimacy with anyone else.When a shocking event occurs at one of her hotel stays, she must really focus on re-evaluating her priorities and her life.To me, this was an exceptional and enjoyable movie geared to adults, filled with fine performances, intelligence, humor, and surprises.

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aharmas

When I saw "All About My Mother" I couldn't get the leading actress out of my mind. She made such an impact on me with her very real and touching performance as the mother who couldn't get past her loss. It was meant to be that way, real, heart wrenching. In "A Five Star Life", Margherita Buy shines with her portrayal of the professional but lonely hotel inspector, Irene. She lives what others would consider a heavenly life, eating, relaxing, and sleeping in the best resorts in the world, and having an incredible amount of power, too.We accompany Irene as she shows us how it works. She travels to Berlin, Paris, Switzerland, and a few five star resorts. She watches the moves of the hotels' personnel, armed with cameras, voice recorders, timers, and her watchful eyes miss nothing. At times she appears full in control, but she also lets her personal side comes through, showing sympathy for others less fortunate, expressing a bit of jealousy while watching others have what she is missing.The film cuts in and out of her trips by showing what happens to her when she returns to her home, and there is much emptiness in her personal life. She has very good friends, but she yearns for more. She visits her sister and spends time with her nieces, enjoying every moment and knowing she has to let them go because they're not her own children. Still, she says she has no regrets and tries to continue.Something happens in Berlin that makes her realize she might be missing something, and it's hard to watch because it all hangs on the realization that time is valuable and life is precious. Irene is now confronted with making decisions, and by the time we reach the end of the film, we still don't know what she has chosen. It is an open ending, yet there is hope because it shows the possibilities, and the camera shows she might have moved beyond the five star enclosures.What is so beautiful about the film is that it is very honest and shows the simple emotions in everyone's daily life: daughters miss their mothers, people make mistakes, and there are insecurities all over the place. In fact, she might really not travel alone because her life follows her, and no one can leave everything behind. Life is what you make of it, and prisons come in many shapes.Overall, the movie works because of this actress' superb performance. She expresses every single emotion that is required of her. She is happy and frustrated with her family and work. She longs for love and it's sad to see that is difficult. She glows when there is the possibility of love and friendship, and it's shattering to see the low points of her life. Buy is an amazing actress.

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