Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!

Uncle Nino

Released

Latest Home Video

Jul 20, 2010

MPAA Rating:

PG


Run Time:

104

Director

Robert Shallcross

Cast

Pierrino Mascarino

Joe Mantegna

Anne Archer

Studio

2003 Kick The Can Productions

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: Uncle Nino.

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Reviewed by

OverallA-
ViolenceA-
SexA
LanguageB+
Drugs/AlcoholC
Run Time104

Making the Grades

For many years Nino Micelli (Pierrino Mascarino) has wanted to travel to the United States to pay his respects to his deceased brother and visit with his estranged nephew Robert (Joe Mantegna). Now elderly, Nino leaves his native Italy with a violin and a suitcase full of homemade wine. When he lands unexpectedly at the home of his Chicago relatives, his slow and simple old-world ways collide with the fast-paced complexities of modern society.

Busy chasing the American dream, Robert’s time is consumed by trying to secure a big promotion at work. Having just recently moved into an upscale neighborhood, his wife Marie (Anne Archer) is struggling to balance the demands of her own employment with those of their children. Fourteen-year-old Bobby (Trevor Morgan) has had trouble feeling accepted, so he hangs with a couple of bad boys who are looking for trouble|and a place for their band to practice. And their twelve-year-old daughter Gina (Gina Mantegna) divides her time between begging for a pet pooch and playing at her girlfriend’s house.

Marie does her best to welcome the eccentric foreigner, yet even with the language barrier it doesn’t take long for Uncle Nino to clearly understand the dysfunctional nature of his extended family. While he waits for Robert to find time to take him to the cemetery, the old man looks for ways to communicate and connect with his preoccupied kin.

Perhaps because they come from the same gene pool, they do have a lot of interests in common. Uncle Nino sympathizes with Gina’s puppy love he has two dogs of his own back home. He also develops an unlikely bond with Bobby. Combining his fiddle playing skills with the young boy’s electric guitar strumming, the two discover they love music and that others perceive their talents as equally annoying!

Opportunities to share small talk and even his personal vintage happen quite easily with Marie. Feeling obligated to entertain their guest, she has dinner with the gray-haired gentleman each evening -- even though none of the other Micellis make gathering for mealtime a priority. However, reaching Robert seems impossible. Despite Uncle Nino best intentions, all efforts to bridge the gap between them just keeps widening the chasm.

Although Robert eventually takes his uncle aside and asks why he came, the audience already knows the answer. But the predictability of the plot is not a problem. It just adds to the delight of seeing how all the stumbling blocks will be overcome.

Parents will appreciate the lesson provided here about learning to value those things that truly mater most and the beautiful example of positive relationships between young and old. Both funny and poignant, the only content concerns for family viewers may be the inclusion of name-calling, three mild profanities, some acts of vandalism, and a teenaged character who smokes (his bad habit is portrayed in a negative light).

Technically well made and boasting some experienced cast members, Uncle Nino is a little independent movie that has touched the hearts of the people of Grand Rapids, Michigan -- one of the few venues where it has been shown. Theatrically released in 2003, the movie is also the recipient of the Crystal Heart and Audience Choice Awards from the Heartland Film Festival.

Yet all these accolades are upstaged by the endearing performance of Pierrino Mascarino. Playing the part of the quirky, crazy Uncle Nino, he is sure to reawaken a sense of the importance of family and the power of love in all those lucky enough to see this fine film.

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Review

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Uncle Nino.

Which do you think came first the Mincelli family’s mix-up in their priorities or a loss in their sense of connectedness? Were the parents the only ones at fault in this situation? What has happened to Uncle Nino to help him recognize what things were the most important in life? Is your family struggling with any of these issues too?

Why do you think Abraham Lincoln was Uncle Nino’s hero? What kind of people do you try to emulate?

Home Video Viewing Alternatives

Here are some ideas for home video titles that are related to Uncle Nino.

The arrival of one rather unconventional governess pulls together a family that is drifting apart after the death of their mother, in The Sound of Music. The whole town feels the impact when a spinster sister and bachelor brother decides to adopt a feisty red-haired orphan in Anne of Green Gables .

Trailers & Clips

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
Not Rated
AB Not Rated
MB Not Rated
ON Not Rated
QC Not Rated
NB
NS
NL
PE
Not Rated

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Uncle Nino...

Uncle Nino releases to DVD on April 7, 2009. Bonus features include an interview with actor Joe Mantegna and his daughter Gina Mantegna (who play the father and daughter in this movie). Mantegna also talks about his Italian heritage and the importance of family, and the pair shares their thoughts on the script and working together for the first time.

Uncle Nino releases on July 20, 2010 in a 2-disc package including a Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy of the film.

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