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Villa des Roses (2002)

Julie Delpy , Shaun Dingwall , Frank Van Passel  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Julie Delpy, Shaun Dingwall, Harriet Walter, Shirley Henderson, Timothy West
  • Directors: Frank Van Passel
  • Writers: Frank Van Passel, Christophe Dirickx, Willem Elsschot
  • Producers: Claude Waringo, Dirk Impens, Els Vandevorst, Jani Thiltges
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Allumination
  • DVD Release Date: September 6, 2005
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000A0GPKE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #353,133 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Villa des Roses" on IMDb

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant Surprise April 4, 2006
Some of us rely too much on movie critics for guidance. Villa de Roses is a case in point for me. Luckily, I hadn't read the early reviews in advance. I tried this movie for no other reason than Julie Delpy. I had enjoyed her performances in the two "Before" movies with Ethan Hawke and wanted to sample her work in a different role.

On the surface, Villa was a variation on old themes. A needful, romantically vulnerable woman is left in the lurch by a free spirit who opts for status and largesse. When there is no going back and the man is facing oblivion, this former lover is left with profound feelings of loss. Another man, decent and needful in the same way as the woman, is on the sidelines barely noticed. We are left reflecting on what might have been if the right connection had been made. Each member of the larger cast of characters in the Villa is facing his or her own interwoven existential challenges. Their struggles are evidence that life is hard. One makes a point of this in his suicide note.

I gave this film four instead of five stars because of its unrelenting melancholy. It is a downer in the traditional sense and that is enough usually to put me off. But this movie is so vividly real, so true to life, it has to be appreciated. The "production values," as a Hollywood commentator might say, are outstanding. The script is good, really good, but the directing and acting add the depth and subtlety that make the characters and events intensely recognizable and real. Julie Delpy was splendid in this different kind of role (as opposed to "Before Sunrise). Shirley Henderson was especially skillful in her part as the lead character's caring friend. If there were nothing else to recommend, her performance alone made watching the movie worthwhile.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wondrously Strange Film September 22, 2005
VILLA DES ROSES, based on the novel by Willem Elsschot, is a strange and claustrophobic examination of life in a confined space in Paris 1912-1913. Director Frank Van Passel has surrounded his production with excellent scenery, effects, camera work and a cast of gifted actors to tell this bizarre tale of Europe on the brink of The Great War.

Villa des Roses is a dilapidated mansion in Paris that serves as a hotel for an astonishingly seedy group of people. The hotel is 'managed' by a British man and wife Olive (Harriet Walter) and Hugh (Timothy West) who barely eek out a living from their irregular tenants. The one person apparently most in the know is Ella (Shirley Henderson) who is the Cook General and has access to all of the nooks and crannies via a spying system of tubes: she knows all the secrets of all of those housed in the Villa. It is an odd asylum for the British and for varied oddball, lost souls and disillusioned, loony guests in the midst of a rundown Paris.

Enter Louise Créteur (Julie Delphy), recently widowed by the Titanic sinking, who has left her young son behind to seek work in Paris. She gains employment at the Villa des Roses as the Chamber Maid, under strict instruction by Olive to not fraternize with the guests. But one of the tenants, Richard Grünewald (Shaun Dingwall) is a lady's man and soon the two have started a love affair that leads to the tragic end of the story. Richard loathes children, is not at all happy that Louise has a son (though she vows to give up everything for her love for Richard), and when Louise becomes pregnant, Richard cools and encourages an abortion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The meek shall inherit the earth. May 3, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I loved the quirkiness of this movie and the era, and her pal's witty remarks etc. The theme is sad and that life can simply be hard for some people. That is the hand some people are dealt in this world. She still retained her dignity and her integrity and gentle femeninity. Her heart-break did not make her bitter and mean and I think there is a sad beauty in that. It draws out sympathy in me for this girl. (some men can be a cold as can be, even when they know love)

Sadly, from my observations in life, I have witnessed few women who can bare this emotional, phychological heart-break and tend to become bitter ambitious heavy-weights and project it on another. So this sad movie was inspiring to me the way she carried her pain with grace and dignity, and it brought a tear to my eye.

I know it's only a movie .... but still!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad December 31, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I like Julie Delpy and she always shines . This film wasn't fabulous but it was nice to watch and I would watch it again.
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