Sunday, December 16, 2018

Under the Tuscan Sun

Movie Name: Under the Tuscan Sun
Year of Release: 2003
Director: Audrey Wells
Starring: Diane Lane, Sandra Oh, Lindsay Duncan, Raoul Bova, Vincent Riotta, Kate Walsh, David Sutcliffe, Jeffrey Tambor, Mario Monicelli, Roberto Nobile, Anita Zagaria
Genre: Romance, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6 
Watch it on Amazon

Synopsis and Review:
Director Audrey Wells initially made a name for herself as a screenwriter, with a series of well received films during the 90s, which included Michael Lehman's "The Truth About Cats and Dogs" and also Sam Weisman's "George of the Jungle". Her first directorial effort, "Guinevere", was also very well received, and featured another great performance from Sarah Polley. She followed that feature with "Under the Tuscan Sun", which was made right at the heels of Diane Lane's first Academy Award nomination for Adrian Lynne's "Unfaithful". The film follows the story of Frances, a writer whose life is suddenly turned upside down, when she finds out her husband has been having an affair. After a messy divorce, Frances is convinced by her best friend, to embark on a tour of Tuscany. While doing the tour, she falls in love with the area of Cortona, and ends up buying a dilapidated villa. She embarks on a fixer up project, while getting to know her neighbors, making friendships and possibly embarking on a romance.
"Under the Tuscan Sun" is a lively film that lives and breathes from the endless charm, talent and beauty of Diane Lane. It's a story of a woman pursuing her dreams, of taking a chance, just when she thinks that the chapter of life devoted to happiness is closed. It's not exactly a radically different narrative, but the film anchors its interest on the fact that it has a beautiful locale, and a central performance that is nuanced, showcasing enough grief, warmth and hope, to make Frances more than a simple cliché character. The film does go through the tropes of the romantic comedy mechanism, but it's a film that is charming enough to be quickly savored and quickly forgotten, save for the presence of Diane Lane. Nicely entertaining and worth watching.