Italian-set drama starring Maggie Smith as Emily Delahunty, an author of romantic novels living in Umbria. One day, while on a shopping excursion to Milan, she becomes one of a number of victims of a terrorist bomb attack on the train. Emily recovers quickly from the event, but others in her carriage are more deeply affected: a young German journalist (Benno Fürmann), a British general (Ronnie Barker) and particularly a young American girl orphaned in the blast (Emmy Clarke). Emily invites her fellow survivors to join her at her beautiful country home, where her free and unconventional lifestyle helps them all to overcome their ordeal. Timothy Spall and Chris Cooper co-star.
Before I saw the movie last summer. As first impressions, I didn't know what to expect and the title of the film seemed boring, but I loved Dame Maggie Smith so I gave the movie a chance.
Based on a novel by William Trevor is about a sophisticated, vulnerable, eccentric Authoress called Mrs Emily Delahunty (Maggie Smith) who is on her way to Milan on a monthly shopping trip with acquaintances on a carriage 219, they were about to look forward to the day in their own way until a bomb exploded on the carriage. Delahunty, Werner the young German (Benno Fürmann), General (Ronnie Barker), traumatised although unscathed but gone mute from the horror is 8 year old American Girl Aimee (Emmy Clarke) who are survivors. Out of Kindness and loneliness- Delahunty invite them to stay long term to her healing pensione and recuperate in piece of paradise, the scenic vistas of the Italian country living. Thomas Riversmith (Chris Cooper) enters as Aimee's nitpicking Scientific Uncle with his share of brokenness and he too is slowly going through a transition like the others. As soon as healing process begins with everyone and coming to terms of their loses and gains through friendship, magic happens as well as their own purposes and Destinies.
The atmosphere of this movie reminds me of Tea with Mussolini, but with a simplified plot whereas Tea with Mussolini has more characters and more serious Drama, My House in Umbria is light-hearted but you feel just as sympathetic for the characters.
The versatile Maggie Smith is such a legend and won a deserved award as the dry humoured, elegant, Earth Angel that has a spiritual gift who comes to terms with a troubled secret past in search of her inner fulfilment as her form of Happiness, Inspector Girotti (Giancarlo Giannini from "a walk in the clouds") is brilliant, Quinty (Timothy Spall) is wonderful as her assistant (his Irish accent is flawless). Chris Cooper is interesting as the attractive but blunt and straight laced Professor who is secretly passionate but not engaging to social relationships besides his work. Fürmann had the look of dread and worry and he put on a smart performance. The cast is wonderful, the setting, the pacing of the movie is perfect.
What an enchanting movie with magic like Chocolat, it has warmth and charm without the Hocus Pocus. Goes to show that Humans as a living spirit can make magic when they connect.
I own this movie on DVD now and can't stop watching it. Well done.
I saw this film when first released and it hasn't dated. It owes something at least to 'Tea with Mussolini', although it isn't quite as good. Cher isn't in it, for one thing. But Maggie Smith is quite outstanding (again) and Ronnie Barker and Timothy Spall have good roles. The story-line is passable, although it will probably appeal rather more to women than men, and there are some splendid shots of the Italian countryside, though, if I'm not mistaken, more of Tuscany than Umbria!
gently paced tale of how a group of survivors gel (or not) after a train incident, slowly builds to a finale that should satisfy. beautiful location and excellent acting, ronnie barker bows out gracefully as the rest of the cast display their skills - very worthwhile