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Thread: Under the Tuscan Sun - 09/26

  1. #1
    Combat Missions Fan Wolf's Avatar
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    Under the Tuscan Sun - 09/26


    Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
    Synopsis: Frances Mayes is a 35-year-old San Francisco writer whose
    perfect life has just taken an unexpected detour. Her recent divorce has
    left her with terminal writer's block and extremely depressed. Her best
    friend, Patti, is beginning to think that she might never recover. "Dr.
    Patti's" prescription: 10 days in Tuscany. It's there, on a whim, that
    Frances purchases a villa named Bramasole--literally, "something that
    yearns for the sun." The home needs much restoration, but what better
    place for a new beginning than the home of the Renaissance? As she flings
    herself into her new life at the villa in the lush Italian countryside,
    Frances makes new friends among her neighbors; but in the quiet moments,
    she is fearful that her ambitions for her new life--and new family--may
    not be realized, until a chance encounter in Rome throws Frances into the
    arms of an intriguing Portobello antiques dealer named Marcello. Even as
    she stumbles forward on her uncertain journey, one thing becomes clear: in
    life, there are second chances

    Statistics
    Genre(s): Adaptation, Comedy, Romance, Romantic Comedy Rating: MPAA PG-13: for sexual content and language. Runtime: 113 mins. Theatrical Release: 9/26/2003

    Cast & Role
    Diane Lane - Frances
    Sandra Oh - Patti
    Lindsay Duncan - Katherine
    Raoul Bova - Marcello
    Vincenzo Ricotta - Martini
    Mario Monicelli - Old Man with Flowers
    Roberto Nobile - Placido
    Anita Zagaria - Fiorella

    Crew
    Audrey Wells - Director
    Tom Sternberg - Producer

  2. #2
    Smiling again... Zhora's Avatar
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    There isn't really anything that sounds spectacular or unique about this, but I'll probably see it anyway. I really like Diane Lane and the scenery will probably be gorgeous.

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    Reformed Perfectionist G.G.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zhora
    There isn't really anything that sounds spectacular or unique about this, but I'll probably see it anyway. I really like Diane Lane and the scenery will probably be gorgeous.
    I posted about this in the books thread, since it's based on a great book. Unfortunately, I already know of at least one major plot deviation, which worries me. I REALLY loved the book - I'm a Home Depot do-it-yourselfer geek and took my leisurely time with the book. I'm not holding my breath that it's as good as the book, but I'm hoping it won't be a complete dive (a la Message in a Bottle).

    Anyone seen it yet? I know they've had early showings in certain markets, including Denver, but I didn't go.

  4. #4
    For Your Entertainment lobeck's Avatar
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    We don't really go to the movies anymore...we usually just wait for the DVD and then buy it if it's something we want. Anyway, I'm with z on this one...I like Diane Lane, and the scenery will be gorgeous, so I'm thinking we'll be adding it to our collection.

  5. #5
    Smiling again... Zhora's Avatar
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    I stopped seeing movies in theaters too Lobes. If I see a movie now it's because I own the DVD. Going out to the movies is so expensive these days. I would rather spend the money once and be able to see a movie as many times as I want from the comfort of my couch.

  6. #6
    For Your Entertainment lobeck's Avatar
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    Exactly, Z...

    FWIW, here is the CNN review of the movie...

    Review: Catch some 'Tuscan Sun'
    Movie has beautiful vistas, beautiful performance by Lane

    By Paul Clinton
    CNN Reviewer

    (CNN) -- Going to see "Under The Tuscan Sun," starring Diane Lane, is the next best thing to actually traveling to that glorious, sun-drenched part of northern Italy.

    In the movie, loosely based on the bestseller by Frances Mayes, Lane stars as Frances, a newly divorced American writer who, while on a 10-day vacation in Italy, decides on a whim to start a new life in a broken-down villa in a small village in Tuscany. The villa is named "Bramasole," which translates into "something that yearns for the sun." The phrase mirrors Frances' condition as she seeks a fresh start.

    This lovingly shot, intensely romantic film is really about second chances, and at one point Frances proclaims, "Unthinkable good things can happen -- even late in the game. It's such a surprise." What is not a surprise is Lane's strong, well-measured performance. This Academy Award-nominated actress has been acting since she was a child, but is just now hitting her stride artistically at age 38.

    Sandra Oh (perhaps best known for her role on the HBO sitcom "Arliss") plays Frances' best friend Patti, a pregnant lesbian who has just been jilted by her longtime lover. It's Patti who persuades Frances to go to Italy in the first place, and by the middle of the film she ends up joining Frances on her search for a new life.

    Lane's character develops a relationship with an Italian played by Raoul Bova.
    As Frances throws herself into the local culture and the restoration of her ancient home, she's surrounded by new friends, including a merry group of Polish workers whom she hires to fix up the falling-down villa. One of her more colorful new acquaintances is Katherine (played by Lindsay Duncan), an expatriate American actress who lives the life of an utter hedonist as she recalls her days acting for legendary Italian director Federico Fellini.

    Other locals who embrace the lonely American are Signor Martini (Vincent Riotta), a kindly realtor who helps her buy the villa, and a young girl, Chiara (Giulia Steigerwalt). Chiara helps renew Frances' belief in love when she falls for one of Frances' Polish workers, and Frances finds herself becoming the young couple's champion when her family disapproves of the match.

    Of course, there has to be a gorgeous Italian lover for Frances at some point in the story, and actor Raoul Bova fills that role as the drop-dead-handsome Marcello, who she meets by chance on a trip to Rome.

    The film, wisely, avoids a number of romantic cliches. It ends on a sweet and hopeful note, but everything -- thankfully -- isn't tied up in a nice bow at the end.

    The movie of "Under The Tuscan Sun" differs in a number of respects from Mayes' book. In the movie, Frances is divorced, rather than happily married like her real-life counterpart, and the theme becomes one of overcoming heartbreak and the belief that life comes with second chances. The original book was more of a travelogue; the movie, on the other hand, benefits from Wells infusing the screenplay with a wonderful dramatic arc.

    Like a thirsty garden after a summer rain, Lane's character blooms as she sheds her old fears and her self-imposed limitations.

    In a climactic scene between Frances and Signor Martini, she says, "I bought a house for a life I don't even have."

    "So why did you do it then?" he asks.

    "Because I'm sick of being afraid all the time," she replies.

    This beautifully crafted film is about saying yes -- and continuing to say yes -- to new experiences, despite the chances for failure. The result is that Frances finds a whole new life. It's not the one that she expected, not the one she would have planned, but a wonderful new life nevertheless.

    "Under The Tuscan Sun" opens nationwide on Friday, September 26, and is rated PG-13.

  7. #7
    Smiling again... Zhora's Avatar
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    Wow, I look forward to seeing it even more now. Thanks Lobes.

  8. #8
    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    Having seen several trailers, there's not a movie out right now that seems more boring than this one.

    I guess I enjoy the action movies a little too much...

  9. #9
    For Your Entertainment lobeck's Avatar
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    But, but John...Diane Lane doesn't do anything for you?

  10. #10
    For Your Entertainment lobeck's Avatar
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    Another review...this one from USA TODAY...

    'Tuscan Sun' rightly revolves around Lane

    "Diane Lane" and "fixer-upper" do not come naturally in the same sentence, but what's a reviewer to do when they are the co-stars of the same movie?

    In Under the Tuscan Sun, Lane, last year's Unfaithful Oscar nominee, plays a San Francisco author/book reviewer who buys a dilapidated Italian villa after she divorces her philandering husband. Photogenic architecture and a little heat (solar and sexual) do their part to sustain a borderline-wobbly two hours, though even this old house ends up taking second place to the lovely Lane.

    A fun movie to sit through even when you don't always buy it, Sun has been so reworked from Frances Mayes' best seller that there's a disclaimer in the end credits. What writer/director Audrey Wells gives us is an accomplished woman turned vulnerable after getting the emotional/financial slats knocked out from under her. Scraping money together after her ex gets the house, she impulsively opts for a change of scenery, change of country and complete change of life.

    It's never a surprise when light screen fare about Americans abroad labors hard to work in local color. But Sun has the pigment spread of a busted-open box of Jujyfruits, with an Italian construction crew, a Polish construction crew, a convenient hunk/lover who appears and disappears at will and oh, yes, an owl. With all this, a movie probably doesn't need a visiting lesbian friend who's about nine months pregnant, but if the scenery and Lane's charm hook you early on, you'll probably go with the flow.

    And the movie is all Lane, make no mistake. Whether interacting touchingly with her real estate agent (Vincent Riotta) or going into ecstatic spasms of enthusiasm alone in her room following some romantic ha-cha! (Sun's standout bit), the actress has just about made the A-list leap after a nearly quarter-century career.

    In an odd way, memories of Lane's heavy-breathing triumph in Unfaithful somehow make this movie better. Witnessing a 1-2 change of pace from drama to light fare has its own rewards. A child actress who made a splendid debut in 1979's A Little Romance, Lane was particularly appealing in TV's Lonesome Dove (1989) and A Walk on the Moon (1999). But this is one of those rare timing flukes when a veteran performer has put the two top roles of a career together, bang-bang.

    It's nice to see.
    The reviewer gave it 3 out of 4 stars.

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