A Simple Life

Watch A Simple Life

  • NR
  • 2011
  • 1 hr 58 min
  • 7.5  (6,250)
  • 78

A Simple Life is a 2011 Hong Kong drama film directed by Ann Hui and starring Andy Lau and Deannie Ip. The movie is based on the true story of producer Roger Lee's former maid and caregiver, Sister Peach. The film follows the relationship between a Hong Kong film producer Roger (Andy Lau) and his servant Ah Tao (Deannie Ip), who has worked for his family for over 60 years. It explores the nature of traditional family values and the prejudice against the elderly in modern society.

The movie begins with a busy day in Roger's life as a film producer. Ah Tao, his longtime servant, prepares breakfast for him and organizes his appointments. She has worked for Roger's family for over 60 years, raising him and his younger brother after their parents died during WWII. Ah Tao continues to work for Roger's family despite their grown-up status, but she suffers a stroke at the beginning of the film, causing her to retire and move to a nursing home.

Roger, feeling responsible for Ah Tao's well-being, steps up to take care of her, visiting her frequently and ensuring that she receives the best possible care. The two form a warm and loving relationship, but the transition is not easy for Ah Tao, who is used to taking care of others. The film explores how Roger's affection for Ah Tao increases as he learns more about her life and the sacrifices she has made for his family.

The movie highlights the cultural phenomenon known as "filial piety." This Chinese value emphasizes the importance of showing respect and caring for one's elders, including one's own parents and grandparents. The film critiques the abandonment of elderly family members in nursing homes, forcing elder people who had always been independent into assisted living facilities. The movie also touches on issues of social class and privilege, with the vastly different experiences of Roger and Ah Tao, and the perceived difference between the wealthy and the working-class.

Throughout the film, we see Roger and Ah Tao connect through shared experiences, memories and mutual respect. While Roger’s support is the financial key that opens doors to better care for Ah Tao, his understanding and compassion are most meaningful because it reflects the view that true filial piety means more than fulfilling material obligations.

The film also explores sisterhood and relationships between women, as Ah Tao forms a close bond with the other residents of the nursing home, especially her old friend Mrs. Kam (Hailu Qin), another caregiver facing her own struggles. The film highlights the resilience and strength of these women as they support each other through hardships.

A Simple Life is a touching and poignant film that presents its themes and emotions with elegance and precision. The film lives up to its name, providing a genuine and organic portrayal of the simplicity and beauty in human relationships. It is an insightful look at age, class, family values, and relationships, all of which are bound amid a cultural framework of Hong Kong lifestyles. A well-crafted, poignant film with excellent performances, "A Simple Life" will bring you to a place of deep, heartfelt emotion. Without revealing too much about the story, it's a thought-provoking, heart-rending, and unforgettable portrayal of care, compassion, filial piety, and love.

A Simple Life is a 2011 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 58 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 78.

A Simple Life
Where to Watch A Simple Life
A Simple Life is available to watch, stream, download and on demand at The Roku Channel. Some platforms allow you to rent A Simple Life for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 58 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (6,250)
  • Metascore