A Simple Life
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Since her teenage years, Chung Chun-Tao has worked as an amah - a servant - for the Leung family. Known as Ah Tao, she witnessed every aspect of the family's life. Now, after 60 years of service, she is looking after Roger, who works in the film industry and is 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 quit her job and move into anursing home. Roger researches the possibilities and finds her a room in an establishment run by an old… More
Directed By
© China Lion Film Distribution

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"[T]he sort of film in which every detail feels unforced but essential."
‑ Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
"Often poignant but leavened with humor."
‑ Mark Jenkins, Washington Post
"Driven by the fantastic performances of Andy Lau and Deanie Ip and its authentic writing, A Simple Life is the type of film you pop in to remind yourself that there is hope for the human race."
‑ Chris Sawin, Examiner.com
"Compassionate but never sentimental, heartfelt but not tear-jerking and at once very funny and deeply moving."
‑ Miles Fielder, The List
"Perturbing truths about old age nestle inside an outwardly sentimental shell - it's a less cosy or placid prospect than it seems."
‑ Tim Robey, Daily Telegraph
"Here is a film with the clarity of fresh stream water, flowing without turmoil to shared destiny. No plot gimmicks. No twists and turns. Just a simple life."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Though overlong, Hui's valentine never milks the drama for tears, maintaining an unsentimental focus on the central duo's playful chemistry and the loving way Ah Tao's attention to detail is repaid."
‑ Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times
"eteran Director Ann Hui paints in delicate strokes, but while this may seem soft he is playing with powerful emotions."
‑ Alan Bett, The Skinny
"It's a gentle, flawlessly observed picture, moving but never sentimental, about getting old, fulfilling familial duties, killing time and being killed by time."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"It is a quite lovely film."
‑ Allan Hunter, Daily Express
"An exquisite and wise moment of celluloid portraiture."
‑ Trevor Johnston, Time Out
"Ms. Hui, a rare successful female director in the Hong Kong film industry, drew her story from real events, and the movie retains a tonic flavor of the everyday: its drama unfolds simply, without explosive moments but not without emotion"
‑ Rachel Saltz, New York Times
"Not since The Diving Bell and the Butterfly earned cinematographer Janusz Kaminski (Schindler's List) another Oscar nomination in 2008 has there been such a good film about incapacity."
‑ Graham Young, Birmingham Post
"In keeping with the title and the heroine, A Simple Life is a straightforward and unassuming gem."
‑ Tara Brady, Irish Times
"A sad and sombre film that uses a plangent piano soundtrack to tug at the heartstrings, but tempers this with a downbeat reality."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
More reviews for A Simple Life on Rotten Tomatoes