Palace Nova Eastend
If Life Gives You Lemons is director Ciro D’Emilio’s debut film about the struggles of a dysfunctional family and a young teenager’s dreams of overcoming the harsh life that he has been dealt. Antonio played by Giampiero De Concilio has a dream to be a successful football player. He has the talent and this is an opportunity to help him and his mother Miriam played by Anna Foglietta to build a better life for them both.
Year Antonio is a 17 year old boy with the responsibilities of an adult due to being abandoned by his father and the ongoing severe mental health issues of his mother. Despite the frustrations, Antonio is loyal and fiercely protective towards his mother and the pressure is on for him to keep the charade of normality with the social worker handling his case to continue living with her.
The love and bond between mother and son is strong yet also fragile due to the unpredictable nature of Miram’s behaviour. Life is constantly giving lemons to Antonio as he tries to weave and duck through the obstacles that come his way. Between his mothers’ struggles, keeping the social worker at bay, a new love interest, fighting with his best friend and a chance to try out with a successful football team it seems a lot of weight is on his shoulders.
Antonio is a likable character and his heart is in the right place. For a young man to be dealing with such strong and difficult adult issues you want him to make good with his life. The film keeps you interested throughout and you get invested in Antonio’s happiness. For Antonio though sometimes that lemon is just a bit too bitter to swallow.