It’s cold and rainy and windy in Wellington. The temperature inches barely into the two digits. So it makes perfect sense–to me–to watch a movie set in one of my favourite regions: Tuscany/Italy. Seeing the red Fiat with Claire, Sophie, and Charley drive along country roads studded with slender cypress trees… ahh. Is there anything more beautiful?
Maybe the scene almost at the end, when the whole family sits around a large rustique dining table in the lush Tuscan garden beats the car scene. It’s hard to pick because the views of Tuscany, Siena, and Verona are simply stunning. Trust me on this: the movie is worth seeing for the scenery alone.
It’s a romance! (surprise!) Critiques called it fluffy and light. In my eyes that are stupid and narrow-minded comments. Compared to Doctor Zhivago it may fall short on drama and heartache, but then we don’t compare Cole Porter with J.S. Bach either and call Porter falling short.
There are two love-stories running parallel in the movie. The building tension/attraction between Sophie and Charley who are accompanying Charley’s grandmother on her search for her first love, she left behind a long time ago because she became afraid. Claire, the grandmother played by Vanessa Redgrave, and Lorenzo, the boy she met fifty years ago played by Franco Nero (her real-life husband!!!), are both a delight to watch.
It’s very well possible that writing A Tuscan Affair was a tiny little bit influenced by this movie! There! I said it!