Rent A Simple Life (2011)

3.8 of 5 from 128 ratings
1h 53min
Rent A Simple Life (aka Tao Jie) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Synopsis:
Since her teenage years, Ah Tao has worked as a servant for the Leung family. Now, after 60 years of service, she is looking after Roger, the only member of the family still resident in Hong Kong. One day Roger comes home from work to find that Ah Tao has suffered a stroke. He rushes her to hospital, where she announces that she wants to move permanently into a nursing home. Increasingly giving more and more time and attention to Ah Tao's needs, Roger comes to realise how much she means to him.
Actors:
, , , , , , Man-sze Yu, Eman Lam, , Chi-san Chan, So-ying Hui, , , , Felicia Chow, , , , , Yun-sau Mak
Directors:
Producers:
Ann Hui, Yan-Iam Lee, Pui-wah Chan
Writers:
Susan Chan, Yan-lam Lee
Others:
Deanie Ip
Aka:
Tao Jie
Studio:
Arrow Films
Genres:
Drama
Countries:
Hong Kong, Drama
Awards:

2011 Venice Film Festival Best Actress

BBFC:
Release Date:
19/11/2012
Run Time:
113 minutes
Languages:
Cantonese
Subtitles:
English
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
Bonus:
  • The Making of A Simple Life
  • Trailer
BBFC:
Release Date:
19/11/2012
Run Time:
113 minutes
Languages:
Cantonese Dolby Digital 2.0
Subtitles:
English
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.78:1 / 16:9
Colour:
Colour
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • The Making of A Simple Life
  • Trailer

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Reviews (2) of A Simple Life

Eastern fans only - A Simple Life review by JD

Spoiler Alert
02/04/2013

Of the far eastern films I have seen it can be said, with as much truth as any generalisation, they are slow, some monumentally slow, some glacial. This is not in these categories, but it is not to be rushed. The plot could easily be summarised in 20 words but I will not because there would be little left to savour. The photography is not so much bleak as plain. It is about very ordinary things, not superheroes but just good people.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

relationships - A Simple Life review by CP Customer

Spoiler Alert
25/09/2014

performance by leading actor lacked emotion.character seemed very self obsessed.servant more like mother when young.shown little consideration as gets older.shines in care home.great under performance

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

Critic review

A Simple Life (aka Tao Jie) review by Alyse Garner - Cinema Paradiso

The Simple Life

Not to be mistaken for the heiress turned to manual labourer show that brought Paris Hilton to the headlines, Ann Hui’s The Simple Life is a far more accurate use of the phrase as it tells the small but moving story of a house servant who, after over sixty years of service to a Hong Kong based family, has a stroke.

Starring the well known Asian pairing of Andy Lau and Deanne Yip, who also appeared alongside one another in The Truth and The Unwritten Law, the film sees the traditional roles of care giver and receiver turned on their heads as Yip’s much loved Ah Tao finds herself facing the prospect of leaving her surrogate family home behind and moving to a retirement home and Lau’s Roger attempts to give Ah Tao the love and care she deserves.

Beyond this there isn’t much more of a story to The Simple Life its narrative follows Roger as he tries to find a balance between his career and desire to care for Ah Tao. The movie avoids many of the tropes one would expect to see if this were a Hollywood movie, yet there is no melodrama, the motivation behind Roger’s love is never called into question and his dedication to Ah Tao never falters. It is a far too simple and honest tale for any such messy complications.

What is most striking about the Simple Life is the way in which the two main character’s relationship is depicted with such small and delicate motions that you often feel as though you are privy to a truly loving and intimate relationship. Though the concept of the house servant does not necessarily translate directly into a modern Western culture, there is an almost maternal connection running between Roger and Ah Tao, one that many of us may recognize from our own family lives.

It is this aspect of the movie that is the most beautiful and painful; it speaks not only to the growing aging population but also to those of us who must witness our love ones pass into the fragility of elderly life. This film speaks to us with an openness that is quite foreign to many of us, allowing us to face both the best and worst of the situations that many of us know await us in the future.

A simple and easily watched movie, the Simple Life strikes many an emotional cord without any of the manipulation or drama of its Hollywood counterparts.

Rating: 4/5