VideoVista
-MONTHLY VHS & DVD REVIEW-


SF, fantasy, horror, mystery website
illustrated SF and general satire
action movie heroines
helicopters in movies and TV
VideoVista is published by PIGASUS Press

copyright © 2001 - 2005 VideoVista

 
 
March 2005 SITE MAP   SEARCH

My House In Umbria
cast: Maggie Smith, Chris Cooper, Giancarlo Giannini, Ronnie Barker, and Timothy Spall

director: Richard Loncraine

99 minutes (12) 2003
widescreen ratio 16:9
Momentum DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 4/10
reviewed by Gary Couzens
Emily Delahunty (Maggie Smith) is a romantic novelist living in Italy. One day she takes a train, which is blown up by a bomb. She invites her fellow survivors to convalesce at her house in Umbria. They are an elderly British general (Ronnie Barker, coming out of retirement in a straight role), Werner, a young German (Benno Furmann) and a young American girl, Aimee (Emmy Clarke), who has been orphaned by the blast. Soon afterwards, Aimee's cold uncle (Chris Cooper) arrives, and a few secrets will be out before long...

Based on a novella by William Trevor (which I haven't read), My House In Umbria was made for Home Box Office but given a cinema release. It has all the elements of a Merchant Ivory production: a literary source, a cast full of distinguished names, and plenty of lush photography of the Italian countryside. But unfortunately these don't add up to an engaging film. My House in Umbria proceeds at a glacial pace and never establishes a grip. Richard Loncraine pulls off an excellent stylised bomb-blast sequence, but the heat and torpor seem to have leaked into the celluloid of this film. Frankly, it's a bore.

It certainly looks pretty on DVD though, with an anamorphic transfer in the original ratio of 1.78:1. It sounds fine too, in Dolby digital 5.1 with the surround channels filled with Claudio Capponi's music score. The only extra is the trailer.
NEXT

Did you find this review helpful? Any comments are always welcome!
Please support VideoVista, buy stuff online using these links - Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com | Send it | W.H. Smith