The Reel Review
Real life father and son Liam Neeson and Micheál Richardson star in this relationship dramedy about a father and son selling their abandoned family house in Tuscany that has fallen into disrepair in the years since the death of the family’s matriarch. As they work to get the house ready to sell, they find themselves sorting through unresolved emotional baggage as well.
The real life parallel – the death of the duo’s wife and mother, Tony award-winning actress Natasha Richardson, after a freak 2009 ski accident – looms throughout the entire film, which feels a lot like family therapy set to 2003’s, Diane Lane-led, Under the Tuscan Sun, complete with a cute fixer upper and lovable supporting characters.
Writer/director James D’Arcy’s storyline, about coping with loss and past regrets, is eye-rollingly predictable – you can literally guess the finalé within the first few minutes. But getting there is still a pleasure, thanks to the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, Neeson’s comic chops (who knew?!), and charming performances from Lindsay Duncan (Birdman, Gifted) as the wisecracking realtor and Valeria Bilello (Sense8) as a local restauranteur. It’s a sweet, sappy, feel good film that will tug at your heartstrings, and likely spark interest in a trip to Tuscany.
• Liam Neeson and Micheál Richardson also starred as father and son in the 2019 action thriller, Cold Pursuit.
• Made in Italy is the writing and directing feature film debut for actor James D’Arcy (Dunkirk, Avengers: Endgame)
• Tuscan, deja vu! Scottish-born, Olivier and Tony award winner Lindsay Duncan also appeared in Under the Tuscan Sun.