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Monday, May 10, 2021
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Now showing: Made in Italy (M)

Luke McWilliams gives his review of the 2020 comedy-drama film, Made in Italy, starring Liam Neeson and Micheál Richardson.

At a London gallery, gallerist Jack (Micheál Richardson) is told by his estranged wife that her family is selling the gallery from under him. Desperate to keep his career, Jack takes his estranged, widowed, artist father Robert (Liam Neeson) to Tuscany to restore their family villa for a quick sale.

A feature directorial debut, the movie holds absolutely no surprises for its audience. Like A Good Year, we know exactly where we are going to end up. The question is, how are we going to get there? While the uptight Jack loves his upmarket life in dark and dreary London, there is no competition between the two locales. It becomes apparent, however, that selling the Tuscan villa is Jack’s chance to quickly circumvent emotionally resolving the tragic loss of his mother. It is, however, Robert’s hesitation to let go of his pain, represented in a violent red and black mural in the villa’s ‘living’ room, that adds to the conflict.

In Tuscany, a stern real estate agent (Lindsay Duncan) and local chef Natalia (Valeria Bilello) all serve to rehabilitate the leads. However, it is their inevitable confrontation, symbolised in the renovation of the dilapidated house, that holds the keys to reconciling their relationship and their lives going forward.

Verdict: Cheesy and predictable, with questionable acting on the part of Richardson, Made in Italy would be harmless fun if not for the knowledge that the leads are real-life father and son, sharing a similar, tragic loss as their onscreen counterparts. 2.5 stars.

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