Liam Neeson returns to the big screen, and this time it’s a family affair as he’s joined by his son Micheál Richardson for this easy-going and quintessentially heart-warming film in Made In Italy.
A bohemian artist travels from London to Italy with his estranged son to sell the house he inherited from his late wife.
James D’Arcy makes the transition from actor to director with this, his first feature film, in Made In Italy. It’s an intimate film of discovery and recollection with one’s past that D’Arcy offers audiences with this one, and the beautiful background of Tuscany plays right into the emotional effect of this cinematic experience. Equal parts drama and comedy, Made In Italy is a pleasantly unrushed piece of cinema that takes its time and unfolds like a fine wine. D’Arcy never rushes his film and instead just lets the story unfold at a natural pace and crafts a relaxed and easy-going experience for audiences because of it.
Taking on the lead in Made In Italy is bonafide Hollywood star Liam Neeson, but this time he trades in his action man status for a role that is far more dramatic and reserved. As Robert, an emotionally repressive artist, Neeson leans into the role of a man who is still carrying the grief of the loss of his beloved wife. It’s a role that is incredibly meta to Neeson’s own life and the tragic loss of his own wife Natasha Richardson, and it’s easy to see the exploration of grief through Neeson’s performance. Neeson’s performance as Robert is about finding a way through grief and the past and using it to find new hope in one’s life.
Joining Neeson on screen is his real-life son Micheál Richardson who stars as Robert’s son Jack, an aspiring art dealer who is desperate to move on from his past and seeks to sell his families former Tuscan Villa to finance it. However, the journey he undertakes slowly changes him for the better and he soon discovers a new lease on life. Richardson is a delight in the role, and he really stands well beside his father in such a personally challenging part and a narrative that has so much personal significance for the two of them.
In terms of the cinematic experience, Made In Italy is a beautiful film to watch, and as an audience member you’re sucked into the sun-kissed landscape of Tuscany and the delight that these characters find in it. D’Arcy captures the landscape in all of its glory and the result is a beautifully realised film that is sure to whisk you away to the beautiful vistas of Southern Italy.
Made In Italy is a light-hearted and warm-hearted film that explores the connection between one family in both it’s past and present. Its beautiful images will capture your heart and you’ll be sure to find yourself smiling when the credits begin to roll.
Image: MadMan Films