Made In Italy


‘…a slight, gentle but knowing drama riddled with small moments of insight…’

Liam Neeson doesn’t need much introduction as an actor; he’s Liam Neeson. Micheál Richardson is a less familiar figure, and makes for ideal casting as in Neeson’s son in James D’Arcy’s refreshingly genteel Made in Italy; that’s because he is Neeson’s son. What might be seen as stunt casting offers instead hidden depth; a specific shadow hangs over this film; the death of Neeson’s wife, and Richardson’s mother Natasha in 2009. So a drama about a father and son scrambling to rekindle their relationship, disrupted by grief, suggests a personal project, and that’s very much what Made in Italy is, a slight, gentle but knowing drama riddled with small moments of insight.

Richardson plays Jack Foster, a young man experiencing divorce, but determined to buy out his ex-wife from the trendy London gallery they owned. To do this, Jack needs cash, and his eccentric artist father Robert (Neeson) is willing to help by selling up his Italian bolt-hole. When the two men travel to Italy to assess the property, it becomes apparent that the transaction involved is something more complex than just finance.

Critics have carped at the sentiment and ‘mawkish’ air; Made In Italy requires some warning, perhaps, that those recently affected by grief may want to avoid. More mature audiences, however, may appreciate that D’Arcy’s script (and film) make some effort to put how we react to tragedy centre stage; both Robert and Jack are illuminated, not just by the house they share, but by the traditions and atmosphere of the Italian town they inhabit, and the cleansing power of both the old and the new makes for an enjoyably rich experience.

Neeson has probably reached for the action-movie well often enough by now, and it’s a relief to see him in a change of pace that highlights his sensitive features and whispered delivery; clearly the challenge of acting with his own son has brought a different performer to the table that his popular tortured toughie. Richardson is something of a revelation, and there’s nice support from Lindsay Duncan as an estate-agent. While critics and awards bodies steered clear, Made in Italy will undoubtedly find some favour with the public, who will enjoy the simple pleasures of the refined story; not everything in cinema has to pack a wallop to the guts, and the company of these charming men and the Italian countryside works a potent magic if you’ve been stuck on your couch for over a year.

Out now on Amazon Prime in the UK, Link below.

Thanks to Amazon for advance screener access to this movie.


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  1. Holy moly. Your feedback is into overload. The minute I read Neeson I thought hooray another action picture but i had forgotten he is indeed a pretty good straight drama actor and maybe when he’s given up the running-shooting-jumping pictures we might see more of him in standing-still movies.

  2. hmm it seems calculated to revitalize reputation after some of his the cock-ups his mouth have gotten him into in recent years. Maybe if Woody Allen directed it.

  3. So Neeson’s real son gets Taken to Italy. By Neeson. does Neeson call himself and threaten himself?

    Overall, this sounds complicated. I mean, two phone plans? That way lies madness!

    • I understand your issue, but for once, Liam Neeson is not hunting anyone down with his particular set of skills. He’s having some nice al fresco dining with his son. Although there’s a potentially action packed serial when a crazed mafia type kidnaps….

        • I’m not sure that is is real thing, but if you mess with Neeson’s family, his food, his condiments, you know what you’ll get…

            • I should never have doubted you. Maybe that recepie would be good for the final page finale of Edwin Drood…

              • Never doubt The ‘stooge when it comes to food.
                Except haggis pizza. Then feel free to doubt me all you want.

                So, you’re saying he was poisoned with opium laced macaroni salad? That’s great. No one will see that coming!

                • Made In Italy 2; The Homecoming is the one where Neeson has a haggis pizza stolen from him at Treviso airport and tracks down the culprits by tracing the opium in his macaroni salad. Very moving film.

                  • Where do you come up with these fantastic ideas? I don’t understand why you’re not a big time movie director. Audiences would eat these things up!

                    I guess Hollywood just isn’t ready for someone of your calibre….

                    • I’m happy for them to make do with my cast-offs, save the best for the WP4; why? Because you’re worth it? Made in Italy 3; The Crackdown is the best of the bunch…

                    • Not according to your “other” comments I see.

                      I’m thinking the Love/War Boat might just suddenly have mysterious repairs that’ll keep her in dry dock for a year.

                      Disinviting me off my own boat! The cheek….

                    • Nobody could possibly be expected to believe the comments I have been associated with, so I am not liable for their impact. But if the WP4 are to tour, you’ll have to up your game. But I think Alex would have to be like a mascot or something, he’s probably not allowed out of Canada anyway…

                    • That’s what happens when you disinvite the captain of the boat :-/
                      There are consequences. Don’t worry, you’ll get 1/4 of the profits from your show…

                    • OK, have come to a new deal with fraggle, me her, Neeson and Hemsworth; you’re out!

                    • You’ll be riding on my magic hammer if you don’t wish us all the best!

                    • All I heard was “Bookstooge, you’re the best and I wish I hadn’t tried to kick you off your own boat. I am so sorry. Will you forgive me and bring your boat back? I’ll even watch the second Lepreconn movie and review it just for you”.

                      Yeah, I’m pretty sure that IS what I heard…. right?

                    • I could maybe find room in the budget for a cabin boy, that might be the right level for a novice like yourself. This isn’t some boat trip, it’s a voyage of discovery and adventure; only seasoned sea-farers invited. Can you dig it?

                    • I’m reply with a smartass remark but I’m too busy being awesome and planning the navigation routes for our interstellar voyage.

                      Besides, you owe me for all that chloroform I had to use on you to get you in that cage. That stuff’s expensive!

                    • And fraggle accuses me of being cruel to Alex, and THIS is how I’m treated? I’ve got a good mind to call of the WP4 boat trip if this is the kind of treatment I’m expected to endure. Chloroformed and in a cage?

                    • When you mutiny against a genuwine cap’n, you have to be prepared for the results

                      And since I can “avast and ahoy” and “arggghhh” with the best of them, I’m about as genuwine as you can hope for….

                    • Exactly! I’m glad you realize the seriousness of this situation. Normally, a mutiny on my space boat calls for keelhauling and 50 lashes with a rubber ducky. So I’d say your chloroform and cage is pretty light.

                      And Liam just called and says I’m the Captain of any ship as far as he’s concerned.

                    • Waffle. Fake news. I’m here with Liam right now and he says it’s all lies. Keep your rubber ducky.

                    • That’s his moon people clone. I see they’ve got to him already.
                      Well, it was nice knowing you. Our space cruise was humanity’s last hope and now that is gone.
                      * weeps dramatically *

                      Oh the humanity!

                    • Calm down and don’t get your knickers in a twist. We’re going on a cruise down the Amalfi coast, and that’s it. Calm your jets.

                    • Great, now you’ve been moon people cloned as well.

                      I have a feeling this Cruise is going to feel like an endless loop….

                    • Not if I’m in charge. I’ll make this the safest voyage since the Muppet’s Treasure Island!

                    • Oh, I’m totally reassured now.
                      So, how much rum are you going to bribe me with? After that disgraceful example of a failed mutiny, I’ll need a LOT of rum to convince me that you’re a real crew member.

                    • I’m the Cap’n. Only I get to make people walk the plank. Or put them in cage.
                      Hey, how’d you get out anyway? I paid a lot of good money for that lock!

                    • Dix has been talking to mice and imagining going to Mars. He’s hearing all kinds of things. Reality would be an intervention.

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