Made In Italy is a story about a reunion between a father and his son who were aloof since the death of their wife/mother. A financial crisis makes them sell their mother’s family house, Tuscan Villa which has been sitting there, empty filled with painful memories for two decades. Jack (Micheál Richardson) runs an art gallery in London, which is owned by his wife (who he is divorcing) and wants to buy it to run independently.
Robert (Liam Neeson), a veteran painter who also lives in London has long given up painting after his wife’s death in a car crash. They also share the father-son relationship in real life and have the same tragic experience when Liam’s wife and Micheál’s mother, Natasha Richardson died in a skiing accident. This makes this movie a special one, not only for us but for the father-son duo as well. They have successfully conveyed the emotional sentiments which we can feel in every scene of the movie effortlessly.
Both father and son set out to Italy to sell the villa, and we can feel the coldness in their relationship as they try to initiate small talk which dissipates in no time. The condition of the villa seems irreparable with its broken furniture, scraped up paint, and innumerable painful memories. Jack, with the help of Robert, tries to fix up the villa. Robert, for whom the villa is a souvenir of his love for his wife and son, is adamant to sell the house but does so for his son.
“When I first saw this house, you can’t imagine how stunning it was. It deserves to have its history honoured.”
In the meantime, he also falls for Natalie (Valeria Bilello). She is a single mother of an eight-year-old daughter, who runs a restaurant in Italy.
Jack and Robert had a complex relationship ever since Jack’s mother died. Jack never had the opportunity to grieve for his mother and was deeply hurt to not have any conversation about his mother with Robert after her death.
“I don’t think I know how to grieve.”
Robert, on the other hand, had long-buried those painful memories back in his heart. They both had the opportunity to lament the loss and grieve openly, which is also the most poignant scene in the movie when Jack came across his mother’s belongings in the attic.
“It’s like you literally locked up all of my memories.”
They finally had the conversation which was long in due.
“The despair of finding out that Raffaella was dead, and the relief that you weren’t, you’d think that those two emotions couldn’t exist simultaneously, but they can.”
The movie also has its comic elements brought out by the fabulous Lindsay Duncan, as a real estate agent who was hired for the sale of the house. The movie gives the essence of Italy with serene locations, background score, and Natalie speaking Italian in various scenes. The villa is no doubt worthy of all its praise and would make you hop on the plane and spend your entire life there. The emotions in some scenes hit you hard, and you cannot stop yourself from wetting your eyes, but it will surely leave a smile in the end!