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Sunday, February 14, 2021

My House In Umbria (2003)

An Englishwoman (Maggie Smith) living in Italy writes romance novels. On an excursion to Milan via train, a terrorist bomb explodes killing most of the passengers in her crowded car. After recovering in the hospital, she invites the three other survivors: a little girl (Emmy Clarke), a young German (Benno Furmann) and a retired military man (Ronnie Barker) to continue to recover at her villa in Umbria. Based on the novella by William Trevor and directed by Richard Loncraine (RICHARD III). While the narrative includes some dark back history like child sexual abuse and prostitution, the movie still gives us a more optimistic view than the graveness of the book. Beautifully shot on location in Italy by Marco Pontecorvo (LETTERS TO JULIET), the setting becomes part of the film's pull. One begins to fantasize about living in Smith's gorgeous home set in the lush Tuscan hills. Smith gives a lovely performance that is free of the usual mannerisms that mark much of her work. With Chris Cooper, Timothy Spall and Giancarlo Giannini. 

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