from the vine

★★★

director: Sean Cisterna (kiss and cry)

starring: Joe Pantoliano, Wendy Crewson, Paula Brancati and Marco Leonardi

REVIEWER: lyall carter

Returning to his childhood home in Italy, an executive and a few locals try to reinvigorate an old vineyard to produce wine.

On a hot summer’s evening who needs a refreshing glass of the old sav? Me please! From the Vine is a cheery and charming tale of Italian vineyard bliss that might just be the cinematic drop that you need. 

 

Marco is a downtrodden CEO experiencing a moral crisis that travels back to Italy to calibrate his moral compass. He discovers new life by reviving his Nonno's old vineyard, offering the small town of Acerenza a sustainable future and reconnecting with his family in the process. 

 

Even though we may have seen this kind of tale before: midlife crisis, goes to somewhere in Europe that’s gorgeous and starts to make wine it’s still a tale that's wonderfully told and acted with, of course, stunning scenery. 

 

There is an earthy, authenticity to From the Vine with the detailed growing and harvesting of the grapes with the locals involved and the wine making process itself is also very detailed from the French barrels all the way to literally treading the grapes. 

 

At the heart of the story however is the breakdown of Marco’s relationships with his wife, daughter and ultimately himself. There are some emotional leaps that are taken in those different journeys that don’t always have a ring of truth to them but overall these narrative threads are tied together nicely. 

 

I haven’t seen Joe Pantoliano in any role other than a supporting one and as the lead this guy just soars. At times he’s contemplative and at other times he’s emotionally strung out - all wrapped up in a performance that commands the screen. More Pantoliano in lead roles please.

 

From the Vine is a cheery and charming tale of Italian vineyard bliss that might just be the cinematic drop that you need. 

★★★

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