From The Vine
Joe Pantoliano stars in an appealing ‘Under the Basilicata Sun’-set mid-life comedy based on Ken Cancellara’s novel, Finding Marco.
When Mark Gentile (Joe Pantoliano), the increasingly conflicted CEO of a car manufacturer, comes under sustained pressure to bench ‘green’ innovations to appease shareholders, he reaches his limit. His Canadian wife, Marina, is aghast at the implications of his mid-life ‘epiphany’ but Mark insists on booking an open-ended airline ticket to Italy. His return to Acerenza, a town in the southern Italian region of Basilicata that he and his mother left in the mid 1960s, is met with underwhelming ‘meh-ness’ by the locals, who are suspicious of ‘lapsed’ Italians arriving with grand schemes and dreams of reinventing their lives. Undaunted, Mark settles the matter of some unpaid property tax on his grandfather’s crumbling estate and slowly learns to elicit the goodwill – and expertise – of the locals in an effort to re-establish the vines of the ‘noble’ Aglianico grape typical of the area.
From the Vine is well served by the trademark irascible likeability and gruff appeal of its lead, American character actor Joe Pantoliano, (Risky Business, Midnight Run, The Sopranos). Based on the award-winning novel Finding Marco (2010), by Ken Cancellara, the film’s supporting cast of American, Canadian and Italian actors including Wendy Crewson, Paula Brancati and Marco Leonardi (Cinema Paradiso) lend this breezy co-production enterprise between Canada and Italy an appealing authenticity.
“A welcome reminder of Joe Pantoliano’s presence on screen [in] a movie affording him a rare leading man turn.” - This is Film
- Roberta Ciabarra - Curator, Film