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From The Vine - Film Review

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Published June 5th 2021
Discovering new life in Nonno's old vineyard
from the vine film review, community event, cinema, fun things to do, night life, date night, entertainment, performing arts, actors, movie buffs, sean cisterna, joepantoliano, paula brancati, marco leonardi, wendy crewson
Images Farpoint Films, Mythic Productions

From the Vine stars Joe Pantoliano as Marco Gentile, Wendy Crewson as his wife Marina and Paula Brancati as his daughter Laura. In significant roles are - Marco Leonardi as Luca the policeman, Tony Nardi as Marcello who has been taking care of the vines - but just enough so no one wants to buy the place, Tony Nappo as Enzo the squatter, Franco Lo Presti as Gio, son of policeman Luca and Anna Rita Del Piano as Amelia a childhood friend.

CEO Mark Gentile experiences a moral crisis. At his lowest, he has an epiphany, walks away, and travels back to the small town of Acerenza of his childhood to re-calibrate his life.

Mark is an Italian-Canadian car company corporate lawyer and CEO who appears to be having a midlife crisis, and simply gone bonkers by all accounts. He cannot swallow sacrificing his personal values for business interests and walks away from his job to return to his place of birth, Acerenza in southern Italy. All this without so much as a warning to his wife who finds her husband has quit his job and plans to fly to Italy literally overnight.

Upon landing, he reconnects with childhood friends and moves into his late Nonno's (grandfather) house and vineyard after not having been back in 45 years. At the confessional looking for answers, the priest tells him the answer lies in service to something other than himself. He decides to reopen the vineyard on the property, but young and strong labour is non-existent as the youth have left Acerenza long ago. Now a half-empty town of old people, with the help of a rag-tag team looking for an income, he goes about bringing life back to the old vineyards.

What grabs you the most in this film is the splendid cinematography and the seemingly idyllic laid back lifestyle in Acerenza. It breathes refreshingly of sun-kissed foreign lands and promised sea-change adventures, much like Under the Tuscan Sun. With beautiful, spacious, rural southern Italian landscapes filling the screen to distract you, you can easily forgive that the film is predictable and done better many times before. However, there's nothing wrong with predictable films or we wouldn't keep watching it. So sit back and watch a comfortably familiar story unfold.

Take from it the joy of an aesthetically pleasing film, if not intellectually compelling. This fantasy just may be what the doctor ordered in these unprecedented times. The locals of Acerenza will keep you entertained with their over-the-top personalities that provides enough comic relief to give the film some much-needed identity. Pantoliano gives an endearing enough performance and fleshes out his character to be something more interesting than just being put out to pasture. He's easily the best thing about this sweetly-undemanding story with gorgeous Italian scenery.

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Why? From the Vine - Film Review
When: In Cinemas 17 June 2021
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