"A Five Star Life," which opens Aug 8 at Landmark Theatres in San Francisco, is the story about a woman who is a hotel critic for five star hotels. Maria Sole Tognazzi directs this film about a woman surrounded by opulence who must rate these establishments. We see our critic posing as a mystery guest with white gloves checking for dust on picture frames and crystal chandeliers, examining linens, looking under the bed, and making online evaluations. Everything goes into her ratings from service with a smile when being greeted at the front desk to a demonstration of the features of the room by the bell clerk.
The mystery guest is a woman, a woman without a life, in a five star life, that is, she is single, without husband and past the age for raising a family. Tognazzi shows the loneliness of Irene Lorenzi’s life brilliantly played by Margherita Buy. She takes care of her sister’s two girls from time to time and is still on good terms with her former life partner, Andrea (Stefano Accorsi). He even discusses his new girlfriends with her, and spends the night when she is at work in a luxury hotel and tells her his troubles. Her sister reminds her that she is not a spring chicken and needs to get attached even on the job when in Morocco, or Rome or Paris. Other inspectors who have a life usually quit to stay with their families.
“A Five Star Life” could just as well have been made a documentary so precise the director is in showing what an inspector must do when rating service. As Irene explains to one hotel owner, to get a five star rating the establishment must be extraordinary and everyone must be treated the same, even those who win a honeymoon from their relatives