Director: James D’ Arcy

Runtime: 94 minutes

Cast: Liam Neeson, Micheál Richardson, Valeria Bilello, Lindsay Duncan, Yolanda Kettle,

Synopsis: A London artist and his estranged son try to mend their relationship as they work together to repair a dilapidated house in Italy.


MADE IN ITALY is the directorial and screenwriting debut of James D’Arcy [Cloud Atlas (2012), Dunkirk (2017)]. It is a heart-warming comedy, set in glorious Tuscany, about bohemian London artist Robert [Liam Neeson – Honest Thief (2020), Schindler’s List (1993), Love Actually (2003)] who returns to Italy with his estranged son Jack [Micheál Richardson – Cold Pursuit (2019), Big Dogs (TV,2020)] to make a quick sale of the villa they inherited from his late wife.

Jack has been managing an art gallery which belongs to his soon-to-be ex-wife’s family. When he receives an ultimatum to buy her out of the gallery or lose it, he decides to ask his father – now reclusive but once a famous artist – to sell the Italian country house the two had inherited when Robert’s wife and Jack’s mother died decades ago. Jack and Robert return to the Tuscan hills together but neither expects to find the once beautiful villa in such a state of disrepair.

An acerbic English estate agent, Kate [Lindsay Duncan – Gifted (2017), About Time (2013)] encourages the father-and-son pair to renovate the villa to a saleable condition. As they get reacquainted, Jack meets Natalia [Valeria Bilello – Curon (2020), Sense8 (2015)], a beautiful chef/restaurant owner who urges the pair to rethink their aim to sell the villa once the works are completed.

When renovations go badly, father and son frequently find themselves at odds. Robert’s comical lack of DIY experience leads him to seek help from some colourful locals and is obstinate about preserving his wall tribute to his past artistic heyday. But for Jack, the state of the house seems to mirror his search for memories of happier times with his mother. As Jack falls for Natalia, she restores both his body and soul with delights from her local trattoria. Things seem to be looking up, until the pair find their developing relationship in jeopardy from Natalia’s jealous and threatening ex-husband.

Aesthetically pleasing throughout, the film is a well-acted portrayal of a fractured father and son relationship, that starts to heal when they finally confront their pain. Their future may now look quite different and surprise them both.

Visually it is hard not to be seduced by the warmth and bucolic charm of Tuscany and the emotional pull of this amicable film.


Images courtesy of AMAZON Prime Video