One for the italophiles, From the Vine is a visual feast of a film centred in the southern Italian region of Basilicata.
Automotive company CEO Marco Gentile (Joe Pantoliano) is having a crisis of conscience. He is about to announce a landmark direction for the corporation but at the 11th hour, he makes an exit – not just from the office but from the country. Buying two open return tickets for he and his wife, Marina (Wendy Crewson), Marco escapes to his childhood home in Italy.
Arriving in the tiny village of Acerenza, Marco fails to recognise his childhood friend, Luca (Marco Leonardi). Luca takes Marco to his grandfather’s vineyard, now in a state of disrepair. The property is watched over by Marcello (Tony Nardi) who cultivates a handful of bottles of wine each year, and Enzo (Tony Nappo) who squats in one of the outbuildings.
Marco gets an idea to bring the overgrown property back to life and start producing wine again. He convinces various denizens of Acerenza, each with their own comedic personality, to aid him in this seemingly impractical effort, promising everyone a share in the business if it is successful.
Meanwhile, back in Canada, Marina believes Marco has gone quite mad. This soon escalates to panic, when she finds out that Marco has emptied their retirement fund. Joined by their daughter Laura (Paula Brancati), Marina travels to Italy to bring him back to his senses.
Now reunited with his family, Marco is certain he will not return to his old life. He is confident that the appeal of the region that has renewed his joie de vivre, will have a similar effect on his wife and daughter. Years of putting them both at arms length due to the demands of the corporate job, will be erased and bridges mended. But they are not so convinced.
From The Vine is based on the award-winning 2010 novel Finding Marco, by Ken Cancellara. The film combines magic realism and Italian neorealism, in a light-hearted sojourn through the wine country of Italy.
From the Vine opens nationally Thursday 17 June. Check your local guides for screening times.
About From the Vine
Running Time: 97 minutes
Language: English/Italian with English subtitles
Directed by Sean Cisterna
Written by Willem Wennekers
Stars Joe Pantoliano, Wendy Crewson, Marco Leonardi, Tony Nardi, Tony Nappo, Paula Brancati