In Cinemas now
(Reviewed by John Glennie)
Carlo Gentile (Joe Pantoliano – The Sopranos) is a successful corporate lawyer who resigns from his job when he is coerced into publicising a direction the company will take, which is against his promise to the previous boss. He surprises his wife Marina (Wendy Crewson) that night by cooking her dinner and presenting first-class tickets to his birthplace in Italy. Leaving the following day, his wife says she can’t just leave her job at no notice!
Carlo turns up in his home village where he was brought up on his late grandfather’s vineyard. HE is horrified to find the gates padlocked due to about 20 years of unpaid taxes. With help from his old childhood friends, he jumps the fence and spends the night in his grandfather’s house. He is woken in the morning to find a local (Marcello) tending to some of the vines. Marcello admits to using the grapes to make “a few dozen” bottles of wine.
Hearing this, and seeing the beauty and tranquility of the vineyard, Carlo decides to pay the back taxes and make wine! And here is where the story really starts. He has a few struggles, including an angry call from his daughter back home about leaving Marina alone, trying to entice inexperienced and ageing locals to tend the vines, and dealing with a squatter living in a cottage at the back of the vineyard. Things really get intense when his wife and daughter turn up unexpectedly and announcing that they were ALL going home in two days.
It is a very predictable storyline and some of the flashbacks became confusing at times leaving me wondering whether it was present day or back in his childhood. His conversations with the vines seemed a little strange, but fitted within the context of the plot (and the vines were talking to Carlo by the way!!). Despite this, it was an enjoyable, light-hearted and feel-good movie. Worth seeing if only for the beauty and serenity of the country.