This moody, Italian film reminds me a little of the German film Mostly Martha (far superior to the Hollywood remake, No Reservations) and, perhaps, a little more of Cairo Time.

The story focuses on a woman whose job involves traveling to five-star hotels across Europe as a “mystery guest” who rates the establishments. It’s a professional life of luxury that contrasts in tone but not content with her personal life in her spare, Roman apartment. After all, she is mostly alone in both spheres.

When she is home, her limited time is divided between her best friend (an ex-lover) and her sister and two young nieces. Even with them, however, she remains separate, holding something to herself.

The film explores her journey in a way that is likely to rankle people hankering for a conventional plot based on rising and falling action, reversals, and cathartic moments of revelation, but I think it has a subtler authenticity that comes from an independent women taking stock and coming to terms.

She has questions about the choices she has made and considers what kind of life she wants. Some of us do that regularly, some of us do it openly, and some of us avoid that type of introspection.

A Five Star Life is a good choice for a cloudy Sunday matinee. You still have time…

A Five Star Life


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